Integrate Scotland was founded Caroline Crombie “To relieve the needs of those in Scotland who have experienced disadvantage as a result of their offending behaviour by providing support, information and advocacy, as a practical outworking of the Christian faith.” Up until the beginning of this year, Integrate Scotland has focussed entirely on Community Chaplaincy – extending chaplaincy support for ex-offenders beyond the prison gates through providing;
- Support for prisoners in planning for their release
- Restorative justice courses (Sycamore Tree)
- Collection from the prison gates
- Needs assessments to identify how best to plan in addressing issues
- Coaching and mentoring for individuals after release from prison
- Training and enabling for other organisations and faith groups to safely care for ex-offenders
- In-prison group sessions (i.e. prison Alpha, women’s crafts, Sunday services etc.)
- Signposting to other third sector and statutory support functions
Over the years, we’ve seen some amazing transformations and positive life changes through this work, and it remains a fundamental part of what we do.
However! Around 12 months ago, we recognised that whilst we were successfully supporting our clients in many ways, loneliness and isolation were still issues for many of them. Seeing social inclusion happen has always been a key motivation for us; we want to see clients successfully integrated into the community in a meaningful way, forming real and lasting friendships and pro-social relationships. We began to realise that the achievement of this goal was significantly hindered whilst our remit was restricted to working solely with those seeking to break free from offending behaviour.
We also recognise and believe that the local Church plays a key role in tackling isolation and loneliness. Over the years, the partnership between Integrate and City Church Aberdeen has become increasingly fruitful and in many ways, the two have become inextricably linked, so we’ve decided to formalise that partnership in order to help them deliver their social action ministries AND to help us achieve our goals of inclusion and integration!
To help us work more effectively towards our key aims, Integrates’ remit has therefore been extended to anyone who had experienced social isolation or disadvantage or who had been marginalised for any number of reasons, including;
-long term unempolyment
For more information you can visit Integrate’s website.
Integrate Scotland is a limited company registered in Scotland (SC 331 275) and registered charity (SC 039 013)