Established in 2013, LandWorks is a ground-breaking charity based in South Devon that works with people in prison, or at risk of going to prison, to aid their resettlement back into the community and employment. Located on the site of a former small quarry on the Dartington Hall estate, LandWorks uses the structure of a working day to teach transferable skills and work intensively on a one-to-one basis with its ‘trainees’, building trusted relationships to help them develop a crime-free identity and transform their lives.

Trainees take part in three training enterprises – a sustainably operated market garden, a woodwork shop and pottery – all offering produce for sale to the local community. Alongside the core vocational and social skills training, LandWorks provides counselling and practical resettlement support – such as help with finding suitable accommodation, employment, and financial and benefits advice – to provide a holistic response to the needs and challenges faced by former offenders.

LandWorks vegetable growers

LandWorks deliberately offers an intensive and prolonged, working comprehensively with some of the most disadvantaged and challenging people in society. And LandWorks is distinct in the degree of contact it maintains with former trainees, providing on-going advice and resettlement support long after placements end.

The evidence, including from independent evaluation, shows that the approach works, with one-year reoffending rates of its graduates at 5%, compared to almost 50% for released prisoners nationally. More importantly, all the evidence shows that LandWorks helps our trainees create lasting change – for themselves, their families, and the wider community.