Social Enterprise is a new qualification delivered by EDP Drug & Alcohol Services to prisoners in HMP Dartmoor. It aims to accredit social enterprise learning, it involves learners setting up and running of a one-off social enterprise activity. Those who successfully complete the qualification will gain a Bronze level, a Level 1, on the Qualifications Credit Framework.
Learners created their own products from matchsticks, stone ornaments, handmade cards and illustrations. Key rings and photo frames were sold on their ‘pop up shop’ in the prison and at EDP’s Head Office in Exeter. Proceeds from the sales of the products went to a cause that was close to their heart. Prisoners had limited resources to create their products, what they did produce demonstrated their initiative, a great example of talented entrepreneurs.
Through taking this unique qualification, the prisoners also gained useful entrepreneurial skills which will be pivotal to them finding employment on release from prison. Leon, a prisoner in HMP Dartmoor, successfully gained the qualification and then helped to facilitate another group of prisoners undertaking the SEQ, he said, ‘I thought it was a good idea to raise awareness of a charity that means something to me. With so many government cutbacks, organisations working in the youth sector are stretched.’
Liam also successfully gained the qualification in HMP Dartmoor and feels SEQ is a very useful qualification, ‘Raising money through social enterprise can only do good. It gives students the chance to express creativity and express a passion for an important cause.’
EDP is now looking to deliver the qualification in other prisons in Dorset and Devon with staff being trained to deliver the qualification to those who are preparing to leave prison. Giving them transferable enterprise skills for future employment.