Head shave challenge aims to keep two single mothers from Eastbourne in employment
Reformed East Sussex (RES) Support Workers Julie Branch and Daisy Croker face unemployment if RES cannot raise funds to pay for their jobs. The Community Interest Company needs £3,500 to keep them in employment and off benefits.
Just one week ago RES learnt that they had not been shortlisted for innovation funding. The shock hit the entire team and supporters hard.
Talking about the news Charmaine Sewell, who founded the company in 2014, said: “I want to thank everyone who has donated so far but sadly we’re still likely to close in April. That’s why our fantastic Business Project Manager has offered to help raise money though a sponsored hair shave challenge!
“That’s right, Sarah’s head will be shaved at our fundraising day planned for Thursday, 4 April if we can raise the funds required to keep Julie and Daisy on.
“We hope those who care about helping people turn their lives around through training, skills and employment, will feel compelled to sponsor Sarah to help us continue by keeping our Support Workers in employment.”
RES is unique in that 100% of their workforce have first hand knowledge of offending, substance misuse and addiction. This means they have skills and knowledge that others who haven’t been through the criminal justice system simply don’t.
They are a unique team who have been through what their clients have so know how best to help them. But if they are not able to keep their Support Workers in employment they will face closure leading to more unsupported people in the community struggling to turn their lives around.
Sarah Buckley, RES’ Business Project Manager, wants to do all she can to ensure RES can continue to do their vital work, and help her colleagues keep their jobs, she said: “Seeing the great results our service provides I am wholly dedicated to doing all I can to provide employment to our staff, which is why I am prepared to shave my hair off for their wages, so that they don’t return to benefits and we can continue to help some of the most vulnerable people in East Sussex.”
RES provide education, training, employment and volunteering opportunities to the most marginalised people in our communities. Covering all of East Sussex the service aims to help ex-offenders and recovering addicts turn their lives around, build self esteem and find employment.
Julie, who now works for RES, was one of their first clients.
Julie says she doesn’t know what she’ll do if the offices close, she said: “I have got a little girl to support, I don’t know what I’m going to do without this. It’s the only proper job I’ve had.
“It’s an amazing service, it’s so good working here. It’s a small team but we all get on really well. The clients seem to really love us, they are always coming back. I’m just in shock.”
Working with community partners RES’ support is focused on intervention, prevention and reduction in offending and substance misuse. Support Workers use their lived experience to help people who find themselves unemployed with nowhere else to turn.
Daisy says employment has helped her turn her life around and use her knowledge to help others: “Coming from a background of drug and alcohol misuse, I wanted to make a big change and break the cycle.
“Employment deterred me from my issues and led me to be more focused and determined to help others succeed and fulfil their own destiny. At RES I get to use knowledge from my past to help others, I don’t know what I or our clients will do if we have to close our doors.”
If you can help Sarah raise £3,500 to keep Julie and Daisy in employment please tap the button below. Every little helps so please spread the word and help RES continue its vital work in your community.
Learn about our team
Our work is built on and inspired by our lived experience of the criminal justice system, substance misuse and addiction – we know what you have been through, so you can trust us to support you.
Watch our new film
The film follows two journeys of a female prisoner upon release, one where she receives the help of a RES Support Worker and one where she does not.