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Safer Living Foundation short-listed for a Guardian University Award

The Safer Living Foundation charity, created with the help of researchers at Nottingham Trent University, and which aims to reduce sexual reoffending, has been short-listed in the Guardian University Awards.

NTU is short-listed for a Guardian University Award
NTU is shortlisted for a Guardian University Award

A charity which aims to reduce sexual reoffending has been short-listed for a Guardian University Award. The Safer Living Foundation (SLF), created with the help of researchers at Nottingham Trent University, is in the running for the Social and Community Impact award.

The announcement comes just a year after the Safer Living Foundation won the prestigious Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation.

The Guardian University Awards honour excellence in everything from teaching practice to beautiful buildings, and offer universities a seal of approval for their most outstanding work. The winners will be announced during a ceremony in London on 16 March.

The Social and Community Impact award recognises an initiative that has benefited significant numbers of people in the local community, at a national level, or globally.

In partnership with HMP Whatton, the Safer Living Foundation works with sexual offenders – starting prior to their release from prison – in order to support their rehabilitation, successfully reintegrate them into society, and prevent future offending.

The SLF, thought to be the first charity of its kind, has received international acclaim for its work on preventing further victims. It is a collaboration between experts in the University's Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit, HMP Whatton, the National Probation Trust (East Midlands), Nottingham Police, Age UK, and Circles UK. Several of the University's staff sit on the trustee board.

The charity has established 'Circles of Support and Accountability' within the prison – support networks for prisoners due for release who are socially isolated, with few family or friends.

As part of these 'circles', prisoners receive emotional and practical support from a team of volunteers six months before their release date, and continuing for 18 months after their release.

The approach aims to provide a unique and supportive social network, counteracting the isolation which research has shown is a major risk factor in leading to further sexual offences.

Researchers from the University helped to drive the charity forward and are responsible for evaluating its success.

Lynn Saunders, Chair and co-founder of the Safer Living Foundation, said: "The University has been very supportive of our work. It has helped us to make a difference in the local community, in our aim to reduce reoffending and therefore to protect the public. I am delighted that the University has been recognised for its social and community impact. It is well deserved."

Professor Belinda Winder, Head of the University's Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit and co-founder of the charity, said: "I am thrilled to be part of a University that is so enthusiastic and committed to working collaboratively with partnership organisations in order to make a real difference in society. The support and encouragement of the University's Executive Team have been integral to the success of the charity, and helped us in our mission to prevent further victims of sexual abuse."

The Safer Living Foundation received start-up support and advice from the University's centre for entrepreneurship and enterprise, The Hive.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Dave Rogers, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8782, or via email; or Helen Breese, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8751, or via email.

    • For more on the Safer Living Foundation visit the website.
    • Nottingham Trent University’s five-year strategic plan "Creating the University of the Future" has five main ambitions: Creating Opportunity, Valuing Ideas, Enriching Society, Connecting Globally and Empowering People.
    • The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was awarded to Nottingham Trent University in November 2015. It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution’s world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

Safer Living Foundation short-listed for a Guardian University Award

Published on 3 March 2016
  • Category: Business; Press office; School of Social Sciences

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