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  • Sussex Pathways

Newsletter | June 2022

Updated: Oct 12, 2022


Alastair Alexander and George Baxter, VKWs for Sussex Pathways, were invited to attend the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 25th May on behalf of the charity.

Photo Credit: George Baxter

Left to right: Alastair Alexander and George Baxter

On arrival at Buckingham Palace’s south entrance, Alastair and George encountered a queue that reached approximately 300 yards. Armed police were present and on high alert to ensure everyone’s safe entry into the palace.

The grounds of Buckingham Palace were lined with thousands of guests and staff which made an encounter with the Royals in attendance, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, almost impossible. The Royals greeted invited guests from 3:00pm until 6:30pm.

Many guests were from military services, such as the British Army, Navy, and Air Force, and various other public services and charities. Alastair and George engaged in conversation with a captain from the Gurkha Rifles who regaled them with interesting accounts of his lifestyle and regular jungle training in Belize.

Alastair and George were surprised to learn that the couple they had asked to take their photo was the Swiss Ambassador and his wife. The Ambassador was meticulous about getting the photos exactly right for our VKWs.

Of course, a garden party would not be complete without fantastic food and the catering team at Buckingham Palace did not disappoint. The tea was superb; it was served with sandwiches and followed by ice cream.

George said about their experience, “It was a lovely afternoon, and we both felt very privileged to be there. Thank you!”



Sussex Pathways is pleased welcome Steve Fradley to the Board of Trustees.

We’re happy to report that we’ve had our first group work programme session with residents in HMP Lewes since the Covid pandemic halted access to the prison. Each group has a capacity for 12 residents and teaches valuable life skills and mindfulness practice.

We’ve embarked on an exciting new partnership with The Social Society. The Social Society is a networking hub that provides easy access to local charities seeking people with 21st-century skills. Sussex Pathways has been asked to give a talk at their next event. We’ll provide further information once the details are confirmed.



With the lifting of the final Covid restrictions, Sussex Pathways has been able to get back to work inside the prison, as we should be, picking up new referrals. This has also allowed VKW's to get back to visiting their clients in person and for those newer VKW's to finally experience the prison environment.

The Sussex Pathways accredited 'Pathways to Change' course is also back in full swing, with its first group of clients attending a weekly group session being run by Nigel, who is also being assisted by Rosanna and Neal. This again comes from pretty much a 2-year break of not being able to deliver the group programme, again thanks due to Covid. So, it's great to be back!

We would like to welcome new VKW, Derek, who has recently received his training and we look forward to working with him on PTC. We are also pleased to welcome Craig Neesam who has joined the Sussex Pathways team and will attend the groups to offer support as a peer mentor.



For those not still familiar with the Dynamic Framework, Sussex Pathways was successful in bidding for this wellbeing service as a sub-contractor with Forward Trust.

This supports the delivery of interventions in relation to the following three areas:

1. Lifestyle and associates

2. Emotional wellbeing

3. Social inclusion

The delivery locations are within Sussex and Surrey and the clients we are working with are young people between 18-30 years old and ethnic minorities. Clients are seen in sessions covering topics from the accredited Sussex Pathways 'Pathways to Change' 7-week course which includes: • Health and wellbeing

• Making changes

• Maintaining change

• Identifying relationships/Lifestyles and associates

• Life skills and social inclusion

• The Future

Sussex Pathways has just completed the first quarterly reporting of the delivery of the Personal Wellbeing service for what is now the second year of the contract. This quarter saw a total of 23 new referrals through April, May and June. Of those in Sussex, five are currently engaging and in Surrey ten are currently engaging.

It was our pleasure to welcome in the last newsletter Neal Allistone, who has now started to get to grips with his new role. Neal is already finding that he is meeting clients

that he has previously worked with inside HMP Lewes during his former employment (much to the clients' delight!!)



Susie attended an excellent one day conference on Tuesday 14th June, 'Communicating Restorative Justice and Practice', run by Mint House (Oxford Centre for Restorative Practice). This one day online conference explored a variety of ways to communicate the benefits and experiences of restorative practice and restorative justice in different contexts. The following speakers ran some very inspiring sessions and we recommend looking them up:

And if you still have time after checking out all of the above, there is a programme series currently on Radio 4 which would be well worth a listen called, ‘Forgiveness: Stories from the Frontline', on each weekday for 15 minutes at 13:45. You can listen live or on demand by clicking here.



This month we welcome Charis, Keira, David, and Nigel who have started with us as VKWs and are already visiting their clients in HMP Lewes.



This month we saw National Volunteers Week, and that calls for a huge acknowledgement of the incredibly talented and dedicated men and women who volunteer for us at Sussex Pathways. We are so grateful for the time you each dedicate to bringing change to the lives of so many who are walking the difficult path to restoration, rehabilitation, and recovery both in and out of the Justice System. From all the staff, trustees and of course our clients, we say a HUGE thank you for all that you do.



The third week of June was the National Response Policing Week of Action. Learn more by clicking here.



The Victims' Commission, Dame Vera Baird QC, released her annual report on Tuesday 21st June.

The report includes:

  • a vision to expand victims’ rights and reconceptualise the role of victims within the justice system

  • what is needed in the upcoming Victims’ Bill to transform the victim experience of the criminal justice system

  • a deep dive into the investigation and prosecution of rape within England and Wales and policy changes that are required

  • an examination of how the justice system treats victims of fraud

  • an update on the Crown Courts backlog and how the impact this has on victims



On Wednesday 23rd June, Katy Bourne, OBE, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner spoke at the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Digital Conference.

Representatives from the police, criminal justice, local authorities, education providers, health, housing, social care, and the third sector came together to discuss the progress being made in implementing national VAWG and Domestic Abuse strategies.

Key points of discussion were:

  • reporting rates

  • support for victims

  • preventative measures to stop first-time and repeat offending

  • how 2020 funding for Sussex has established a complex domestic abuse unit, a behaviour change intervention programme for motivated perpetrators, and a stalking perpetrator intervention programme

The government and other PCCs across the country have shown interest in how Sussex PCC has developed unique and innovative programmes that will continue to drive positive results.



The Lead Wellbeing Consultant for Sussex Police and Surrey Police has advised the SPCC about the extensive range of advice, help and support that is made available to police officers and staff.

Both Sussex and Surrey police forces are leading the way when it comes to support wellbeing. They are held in high regard by the National Police Wellbeing Service and national police charities, Police Care UK and Police Mutual, who speak highly of what is being delivered.

Sussex Police have a range of innovations to support mental health, including setting up the first Post-Traumatic Stress Support Group for officers and staff as well as piloting a music therapy programme and trialing a horticultural therapy programme. They continue to increase their internal pool of trained Mental Health First Aiders and have a designated Wellbeing Screening Practitioner.

Sussex will also be one of the first UK police services to roll out a 4-hour trauma self-care workshop teaching colleagues how to better look after themselves with proven trauma techniques.

Easy access to wellbeing tools is vital for staff and officers of the force to continue preventing crime, protecting the public, and delivering an outstanding service for us all.



The 6th Annual Meeting of the Network of Restorative Practitioners in Mental Health is being held on Friday 15th July 2022. The focus of this event is hatching and growing restorative practice in mental health settings.

Credit: Restorative Justice Council

This year attendance is being offered on a ‘pay what you can afford’ basis.

The annual meeting of the Network of Restorative Practitioners in Mental Health will continue the network’s focus on getting started with restorative practice in mental health settings and keeping going. In the programme this year, for the first time, ‘hatching’ restorative approaches in health settings will be addressed by those with experience of growing more established restorative practice in mental health settings. Presentations will include the road to embedding practice, hearing the victim’s voice; and the launch of the Restorative Justice Council’s ‘Mental Health Practice Guidance for Restorative Justice Practitioners’.



Our next key worker training is being held from 6-8 July 2022. This session is fully booked. If you’re interested in future key worker training, please email us at



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