Accrington Stanley Community Trust are part of a count wide network of clubs who deliver the Divert programme. Divert is part of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network targets its work towards helping young adults.
At Accrington, we have our own designated Custody Intervention Coach; Shane Hudson. Shane works with young adults who are ready to make positive changes and become more valuable members of the community. Working with a Divert coach is voluntary and confidential. Meetings with Shane happen on a regular basis to identify and work towards agreed goals and objectives.
The programme is designed to help make positive changes in the lives of young people that have been through police custody or have a history of offending behaviour. The programme offers 17-35 year olds a chance to engage in activities and receive personalised support to help them achieve their goals. It offers young people a way to reconnect with the important aspects of life; their mental and physical health, education, training and employment. Focusing on their goals and achieving new targets to better themselves gives them a focus and helps pull them away from the behaviour that led them to police custody initially.
Divert utilises the time in police custody as a ‘teachable moment’ and not something to be ashamed of, but proud of, after changing their lives around and building a new future for themselves. The experience is a cognitive way to promote behaviour change. Divert offers hope and an opportunity to make positive changes and create a future for young adults.
“DIVERT is an opportunity! Through DIVERT, we give young adults in the local area, who have had interaction with the Criminal Justice System, a chance to take part in positive interventions and receive personalised mentor support.
We look to establish what the young adults want to achieve and from there we put plans in place to take steps to achieve these goals and minimise factors which could be detrimental to progress.
Some of the work we do can help young adults address issues around housing, substance misuse, mental health support and life skills. By addressing these areas we hope to help the young adult to a place where they can go on to engage in training, education, community activities and back into work if they aren’t already.”