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Bywaters is proud to announce our recent partnership with local charity Switchback. This partnership demonstrates social change. By supporting young adults transitioning from prison to develop valuable work skills and secure employment opportunities at Bywaters, we empower them to become active members of society. This fosters social mobility and contributes to thriving local communities, reflecting Bywaters’ core values.

Switchback’s Approach to Prison Rehabilitation

Switchback, a London-based prison rehabilitation charity established in 2008, tackles the challenge of reoffending by focusing on young men aged 18-30 leaving prison. Their approach recognises that a lack of confidence, knowledge, and consistent support, rather than opportunity itself, often hinders successful reintegration. By addressing these needs, Switchback empowers these men to break free from the justice system and build stable, rewarding lives:

  • Last year 75% of Switchback Trainees achieve Real, Lasting Change: a fundamental shift in mindset and lifestyle.
  • 82% of Switchback Trainees progress from ‘unstable’ to ‘stable’ in at least two areas of their life:
  • 56% of Switchback Trainees move into long-term work, education, or training. This compares to only 12% of prison leavers nationally who are in work six months after release.
  • 91% of Switchback Trainees do not reoffend within a year of release. Nationally, the recidivism rate is a staggering 45% within the first year.

Bywaters & Switchback Collaboration to break the cycle of recidivism

Bywaters and Switchback are committed to making a positive impact on society through this initiative. The reoffending rate has remained stubbornly high for decades. Did you know that:

  • 48% of prison leavers are reconvicted within a year
  • Fewer than 20% find employment within the first six weeks of release
  • 83% of prison leavers remain unemployed a year after release
  • The estimated annual cost of reoffending is £18 billion
  • Each prison place costs approximately £38,000 annually

A strained prison and probation system, coupled with fragmented housing, health, and welfare support, creates a significant obstacle for rehabilitation. Adding to these hurdles, prison leavers are released with only £80, leaving them severely disadvantaged from the start.

This fractured system fails to provide the consistent, personalised support crucial for lasting positive change. Through collaboration with Switchback, Bywaters can offer prison leavers opportunities to gain valuable qualifications and skills, empowering them to break free from addiction, secure stable housing, and build a fulfilling future.

How will Switchback and Bywaters’ partnership work?

In partnership with Switchback, Bywaters is creating a unique pathway to a brighter future for young men re-entering society after prison. Three months before release, Switchback’s experienced mentors – full-time staff providing comprehensive support – connect with eligible participants. These mentors will guide them through developing potential employment opportunities at organisations such as Bywaters, ensuring a seamless transition.

The journey continues with a transformative 12-week program. It combines real work training with therapeutic mentoring, fostering stability across all aspects of life. Upon program completion, graduates may be offered permanent positions at Bywaters or receive further tailored training. This comprehensive approach ensures a smooth reintegration into society.

In addition to offering employment opportunities, Bywaters will also make an annual donation to support Switchback’s mission.

“At Bywaters, we’re committed to building a stronger community, and that includes supporting those who are re-entering society after prison. That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with Switchback. Their innovative approach provides young men with a second chance to rebuild their lives. We’re proud to offer them employment opportunities and the chance to build a brighter future for themselves.”

Danny Ashton, Commercial Director, Bywaters 

“Switchback supports young Londoners to find a way out of the justice system and build stable, rewarding lives after prison. As well as Switchback’s intensive 1-to-1 mentoring programme, we also use our evidence, data and insight to inspire more human, more effective policy and practice across the justice system and beyond. All while changing perceptions of people caught up in the justice system. 

We’re delighted to partner with Bywaters in support of our mission.  It’s wonderful to see a local, family business recognising the potential of young prison leavers and we’re grateful that Bywaters is working with us to secure long-term opportunities for our incredible Trainees.”

Sian Williams, CEO, Switchback


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