Langley House Trust marked its 60th anniversary at its North and South staff conferences in June.
The annual events drew together staff from across Langley and Kainos projects and teams, as well as volunteers, chaplains and clients. The conferences are times of inspiration and community and are an important touchpoint in the life of the charity.
The theme for 2018 was ‘Strong Today, Stronger Tomorrow’, reflecting on Langley’s 60 years of working with people in the Criminal Justice System.
Langley was first registered in September 1958 and opened its first house, Elderfield, in 1959. Since then, Langley has worked with thousands of people caught up in crime, helping them to live crime-free. The Trust has a reconviction rate of under 3% for those in their housing.
A highlight at both conferences was hearing from clients. One former client shared about his experience with the Trust and the hope and confidence that he gained from his time there. He is now employed by the Trust as part of a catering project. His role includes making meals for vulnerable community groups. Another client talked about the support he had received from staff and how this had helped to adjust to living in the community, as well as stay clear of alcohol and live crime-free.
Senior managers shared about the future direction of the Trust and highlighted changes in funding over recent years. Offender services in much of the country have largely become polarised between low-intensity services in the community comprising housing and signposting and high end mental health and physical care services in registered care homes. Funding for offenders in the middle of these two extremes is rapidly disappearing.
The Trust’s Chaplain, Andy Rider (Rector of Christ Church Spitalfields) encouraged staff to keep being encouragers, reminding staff of the hope they inspire in clients. Mike Maiden, Chair of one of the Community Rehabilitation Companies (part of the revised probation service) and a Langley Trustee, also reflected on the state of the Criminal Justice System.
The conferences finished with a series of internal awards, including ‘Most Inspirational Colleague’, ‘Extra Mile’ and Team of the Year awards. The conferences were held in Bedford and Leeds.