Kara Duffy

Corporate Client Executive

Charities Aid Foundation

Ted Linsley

Ted Linsley

Corporate Client Executive

Charities Aid Foundation

3Pillars: rehabilitating young men in the criminal justice system


Each month, CAF hosts an in-depth session to learn about the inspiring work of the charities we collaborate with. These sessions provide our teams with a better understanding of the cause area the charity addresses, the challenges they face, and the impact they have on the world. This provides our teams and the donors they support with a greater level of insight.  

In one of the most recent Charity Insights sessions, CAF was invited to spend the afternoon with 3Pillars, a charity that rehabilitates young men from the criminal justice system.

The challenge:

•    85% of young people leaving custody reoffend or are back in prison within 2 years
•    33% are from care or looked-after status
•    A third of young people known to the Youth Offending Service are not in post-16 education, employment or training
•    52% of male prison-leavers don't have any qualifications

The impact:

3Pillars empowers young men to transform their futures. After completing 3Pillars’ Rugby Academy in custody:

•    100% of participants said they were more empathetic
•    100% reported having a very high level of autonomy and control
•    80% felt their self-esteem had increase

Improving the lives of young men

3Pillars exists to empower young men in the criminal justice system to improve their lives, reintegrate them into their communities, and transform their futures. They do this through a world-leading sports-based mentoring programme, which provides young men with the resilience skills they need to thrive during their sentence, and when they are released from prison.

The charity was founded in 2015 by Mike Croft who realised the impact that teamwork and positive role models had on young, imprisoned people. Having volunteered at Feltham Young Offenders Institution following a career in the army, Mike established the charity in response to the dire need for men to receive the long-term support that enables them to have a constructive impact on society.

Getting a taste of the programme

To say that Mike is committed to the 3Pillars’ mission is an understatement. Having worked with our advisory team on the different approaches that his charity could take to funding streams, Mike invited CAF to attend the 3Pillars’ hub at Black Prince’s Trust. This provided us with the opportunity to experience the service from the perspective of those who the charity helps.

During an intense 45-minute boxing fitness session, our coach Kevin led us through a number offitness exercises and the basics of boxing technique. We learnt about boxing stance; how to shift your weight, move your feet, throw a punch; but above all, we learnt how to stay committed when your body wants to give up.

It was clear that motivation plays a large part of the 3Pillars’ model and without Kevin’s supportive assertion, our group would not have lasted for the duration. He had a complete command on the room. Kevin made you feel part of the group, whilst also driving your own determination in short 1-2-1 breakout routines. There is no doubt that the positive leadership that he embodied could have a palpable impact on a young man in need of direction.

Following the sweat and hard work, Mike sat us down to talk more about how the session we experienced can shape a young man’s future. Through this conversation, we learnt about the environment of the criminal justice system and how this can limit rehabilitation. Mike shared some invaluable insights into the issues of the UK criminal justice system and gave some understanding of the barriers faced by charities trying to address them.

This post-session discussion gave us an excellent perspective: providing us with a broad view of the challenges faced by the system, and a deeper dive into the challenges faced by the charity and how these might be overcome. As a group, we left the session feeling more informed and inspired to help.
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Looking for funding to fulfil their plans

3Pillars wants to demonstrate that their model of good quality mentoring integrated with sports engagement is a highly effective tool for character building and rehabilitation.

Over the coming year, they plan to expand their delivery in a number of Young Offenders Institutions.

“We want to demonstrate the true impact of our work through consistent delivery and results,” says Mike Croft, Founder and CEO, “we also hope to host a PhD placement to contribute to shared knowledge and understanding of best practice rehabilitation with young people in custody.”
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“We believe in the power of collaboration and are keen to partner with companies and private funders to help those with complex social barriers and drive impact in our work with people leaving prison.

“The most effective way we can be supported is financially to enhance our team development and growth, training, and measurement of impact. We are open to ideas for collaboration.”

How you can get involved

If you are interested in supporting 3Pillars’ work, please contact your account management team at CAF.

Alternatively, you can use your Give As You Earn account to donate or contact 3Pillars directly for any opportunities to connect.

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