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Scheme which helps ex-offenders find employment given funding boost

Gez Chetal, director of The Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford, has started a prisoner training scheme called Prismstart. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Gez Chetal, director of The Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford, has started a prisoner training scheme called Prismstart. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A scheme to help facilitate employment opportunities for people following their release from prison has been given a much-needed grant.

Gez Chetal, who own the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford, has been running Prismstart with his wife Rosy, on a voluntary basis and self-funding it.

Working with four prisons in Norfolk and Suffolk, the project provides training sessions for offenders in the last eight to 10 weeks of their sentence.

It also helps find work placements which could lead to employment opportunities.

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A £58,000 match-funding grant from Local Investment In Future Talent (LIFT) means the project can continue and move on a step further.

“We have just taken on a project facilitator as part of the LIFT funding,” said Mr Chetal. “The full-time position was created through the funding. It means we don’t have to stop.”

For more information visit the Prismstart website.

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