Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Our Winning Contestants Get Their Jail Break; 'All Credit to the Standard I Would like to Roll This out across the UK'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Our Winning Contestants Get Their Jail Break; 'All Credit to the Standard I Would like to Roll This out across the UK'

Article excerpt

Byline: David Cohen Campaigns Editor

TODAY we reveal the five prisoners who have won a unique Evening Standard competition that will give them a chance to reboot their lives as social entrepreneurs.

Eight candidates from Isis and Holloway jails were shortlisted from the scores who applied for the scheme. They delivered their business pitches to a nerve-racking Dragons' Den-style judging panel inside HMP Isis, while friends and family, along with prisons minister Andrew Selous, looked on.

Between them, they had convictions for robbery, burglary, fraud and intent to supply class-A drugs. But all eight were nearing the end of their sentence and had a viable Continued on Page 2 Continued from Page 1 ???social business idea coupled with a mature determination to transform their lives. The five winners are: Richard Grimwood, 22, (burglary) who has devised a landscape gardening enterprise employing ex-offenders; Sam Walker, 26, (weapon and drug offences), who is planning a familyfriendly fitness boot camp aimed at parents and brides-to-be; Derina Douglas, 30, (drug importation) who aims to create a mothers' support network;Katie Crilly, 30, (fraud), proposing a training academy offering short courses linked to apprenticeship placements; Pablo Sharpe, 23, (serial offender) who wants to set up an ecologically friendly industrial cleaning business.

Mr Selous said: "Today I have seen something that is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. There's a lot of entrepreneurial ability in prisons and it is great to start channelling it in the right way.

"All credit to the Evening Standard for being trailblazers. I would like to roll it out in Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester -- across the UK."

Backed by PS105,000 from Mark and Mo Constantine, co-founders of Lush Cosmetics, the novel scheme offers a life-changing package of support. …

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