Soft skills are the traits and abilities of attitude and behaviour rather than knowledge or technical aptitude
We believe in the power of soft skills to make differences that matter, to transform individuals, organisations and society, to empower, enrich and enliven.
We use an approach that brings about authentic, rather than ‘tick-box’ change…change that’s generated from within the individual, and that’s long-lasting.
For example, when working with women and girls in the criminal justice system we recognised that the multiple challenges they faced, including:
- At least 50% have been victims of childhood abuse or domestic violence
- 37% have attempted suicide
- 20% have been in care as a child (compared with 2% of the general population)
- 70% have mental health problems
- Nearly 40% lose their homes as a result of imprisonment
- 66% of sentenced women in prison say they were either drug dependent or drinking to hazardous levels before custody.
Because these problems are serious and often demand immediate attention, they can overshadow the human being. This is where our work comes in.
In addressing the whole person first and foremost our approach builds confidence, motivation, and self-respect, while also improving practical behaviours such as time management, achieving goals, and employability. Equipping an individual with these skills means they’re in a far better position to get the most from other services that address their specific problems, and ultimately to move beyond the limitations these problems impose.
By enhancing their life skills and reducing the likelihood of offending or re-offending, soft skills development not only supported the women, but also reached young people and children who would otherwise be at risk. The inter-generational impact is huge; some 8000 children are made vulnerable each year when mothers are imprisoned.
The effect is most acute when it is their mother, rather than their father, who is imprisoned
Prison Reform Trust