Doncaster Rovers Foundation have been working in partnership with the Serco ran, HMP Marshgate prison in Doncaster.Over the past 5 years, the Foundation have successfully built a strong relationship with the prison, both staff and inmates alike.
As part of the prison engagement programme, the Foundation and Doncaster Rovers offer coaching hours, signed merchandise, educational courses, player visit and various other incentives all of which aim to assist with rehabilitation and reducing likelihood of reoffending upon release.
Liam Scully, Doncaster Rovers Foundation Chief Executive said “In a similar way to which we provide school engagement packages throughout Doncaster, we wanted to create something unique. The programme had to be something that would have a lasting legacy to all those involved and reward good behaviour. By delivering coaching sessions in the prison alongside educational courses and additional rewards, we hope will have a beneficial impact on the staff and inmates lives.”
Doncaster Rovers first team members Theo Robinson, Dean Furman and James Husband were invited to visit the prison. The players had to answer questions from prisoners and staff about their careers, lives and training and were given a tour of the facilities by an inmate. The prisoners participating were selected as a reward for their good behaviour.
Dean Furman said “We were a little apprehensive about today as it is completely different from other community visits, but everyone was incredibly welcoming. It’s great to know that we can have a positive impact on the inmate’s time spent within the prison and hopefully we have helped to demonstrate that by working hard, keeping your head down and being on your best behaviour will only reap rewards, both on the inside and outside.”
The players also visited our Education team who were there delivering a “Get started with Football Course” to a selected group of inmates. The course aims to help reduce reoffending upon release whilst giving inmates a qualification to build on in the outside world. The course is delivered in partnership with our education department and is just one of the many diverse courses that they offer.
Jade Sims, Marketing Executive at Doncaster Rovers said; “Whilst the players obviously helped to deliver important messages to the inmates and provided a reward to those who had been working hard in their rehabilitation, I think we also learnt a lot. The visit was incredibly insightful and the impressive work taking place inside the prison amongst staff and inmates was evident throughout. Special thanks to Ian Straw for coordinating the visit and to Christopher Hicks for providing such an insightful tour of the prison.”
(Pictured above Dean Furman, James Husband, Christopher Hicks (an inmate at HMP Marshgate) Theo Robinson and Jade Sims (Marketing Executive at DRFC)