Case study: 3Pillars Project

Case study: 3Pillars Project image

“I believe in myself and my abilities now. I feel more motivated to be the best version of myself, so I’m physically and mentally ready for my release.”

A Sports Leadership learner – 3Pillars Project

3Pillars is a charity working in prisons and young offenders institutes in the Midlands and South East of England. Through a combination of mentoring and sport – particularly rugby union – they engage young people who may be vulnerable to crime and re-offending, to enable individuals to make a positive contribution to society.

Using qualifications from the Leadership Skills Foundation, their coaches and mentors help young people build vital skills for their future after their rehabilitation. Many of the inmates they work with have no qualifications and have had a poor formal education experience until this point.

Delivering Leadership Skills programmes can be a perfect way of improving engagement with education in young people who have struggled in this respect, something highlighted by the work of Liverpool FC Foundation in their community programmes.

Jennifer Mustoe-Castle, Chief Operating Officer at 3Pillars, explains the challenge they face when working with young offenders and inmates:

Believing in achievement

“We want to make learning accessible and inclusive so that they realise what they can achieve – especially when they haven’t done well academically in the past.

“Believing in achievement is important because many of the young people we work with were unable to engage in education or they have had a chaotic childhood, which will likely have contributed to their ending up in prison.

“Achieving through sports means they see progress physically, which synchronises nicely with them seeing academic progress. It’s baby steps to start with, but we get them in the right frame of mind and then it becomes a trojan horse effect of Sports Leadership.”

A group of rugby players in a huddle

“We run sessions for those who have been in our programme as apprentices, enabling them to coach other young people in the local community.

“This helps them give back to their community, which can be hugely important to their identity.”

Jennifer Mustoe-Castle
Chief Operating Officer, 3Pillars Project

Empowering learners for life after prison

“Taking part in Sports Leadership courses allows the learners to build mutual respect with one another. They support each other and gradually become more actively involved in learning from one another and other people’s experiences.

“Learners also get a chance to show a level of creativity and control within the sessions, empowering them and offering an escape from their day-to-day lives. They – and we – are so proud when we give their certificates out. It is a big deal to them and we cannot underestimate how important it is.

“Following on from time spent in prison, we also support learners when they are settling into the community. They can carry on engaging with us and we provide opportunities to keep developing through Sports Leadership to help increase their likelihood of employability.

“We run sessions for those who have been in our programme as apprentices, enabling them to coach other young people in the local community. This helps them give back to their community, which can be hugely important to their identity.”

Richard Norman, Chief Executive at the Leadership Skills Foundation, believes that the work of 3Pillars emphasises the versatility of our programmes. He said: “Learning about the fantastic delivery of 3Pillars and how their learners benefit from our programmes is inspiring.

“Their hard work shows that the development of essential leadership skills is vital regardless of environment or subject, helping learners build the confidence they need to take their next step in life – whether that is leaving school and continuing education or, in 3Pillars example, completing rehabilitation and reintegrating with society.

“We work hard to prioritise skills that benefit individuals with programmes that can be tailored to their environment. 3Pillars is an incredible example of how this adaptability ensures leadership skills can be delivered in any environment. We are proud to be partnered with the team at 3Pillars.”

Embrace it with an open mind

Young people who complete the Leadership Skills programme with 3Pillars often report a boost to their confidence and being able to see life after prison with extra optimism. One learner said: “The Sports Leadership programme allowed me to see that I can be a leader and I can take charge of situations, whereas before I wouldn’t put myself out there.

“I’m now more open to participating in things and with people I usually wouldn’t as I believe in myself and my abilities now. I feel more motivated to be the best version of myself, so I’m physically and mentally ready for my release.

“I hope to build on the lessons from the Sports Leadership programme by implementing what I’ve learned in my day-to-day life and motivating myself and others to do and be better.

“For anyone considering a Leadership Skills programme, I would tell them 100 per cent to get involved and embrace it with an open mind.

“You’ll get out of the programme whatever you want.”

Find out more about qualifications and awards in Leadership Skills and how they could positively impact your learners and their community or contact us via email at hello@leadershipskillsfoundation.org.