Why are we here ?
The 3Pillars Project journey
Mike founded 3Pillars in 2015, as he went through the process of leaving the army. Whilst volunteering in Feltham Young Offenders Institute, he was struck by the difference that the army could have made in the lives of the young men that he was talking to in prison. Specifically, that positive role models, discipline and empowerment to overcome challenges, were all that distinguished many of the young men that he had led during his two tours of Afghanistan and the young men languishing inside cells.
An avid rugby player during his army service, he secured permission to teach a group of inmates rugby, over the course of an 8-week period. The founding principle, that rugby's values, ethics, physical discipline and ethos to overcome challenge as a team could engage these young vulnerable men and equip them with the skills so crucial to overcome life's challenges.
Mike had been optimistic about the first course, but even he found the results staggering. In a prison that had serious ongoing issues with violence and conflict, the coaching team were able to build deeply positive and meaningful mentoring relationships with the young men. The prisoners went as far as to make a thank you card for the delivery team, and the coaches were then convinced that they were on the right path.
Four years later, we have worked with over one hundred adults and young people, in a number of prisons across London and the South East. One participant of that first course is even now employed by 3Pillars as a coach and 3Pillars also have an ongoing relationship with HMP Stanford Hill and employ Category D prisoners from that prison on day release from prison, known as Release On Temporary License (ROTL).
This year saw us launch community programmes, to further engage young people in the community and have delivered courses at a number of schools and Pupil Referral Units across London to "enhance the opportunities of young people in London" divert young people away from crime.
So far, we have worked intensely with over one hundred adult prisoners and young people in custody and hundreds more in the community.
Why are we here ?
3Pillars Project exists to improve the lives of young people at risk of committing crime, by providing them with effective support and mentoring to secure positive futures. We provide vulnerable young people with the tools to overcome significant challenges.
Childhood experience has a large impact on likelihood to commit a crime, particularly Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) such as childhood neglect or abuse. Young people with experiences of 4 or more ACEs are:
more likely to have committed violence
more likely to have been a victim of violent crime in the last 12 months
more likely to be in prison at any pointing their life
Supporting the system
The current system is under huge strain and struggles to be effective. We empower people to take control of their lives so they might break the cycle of re-offending.
Average cost per year to hold a young person in Young Offenders Institute (YOI)
of young offenders leaving prison are re-convicted within a year