Adderstone CEO goes to prison

09 March 2022
Adderstone CEO goes to prison

“If you’ve experienced being locked up in a cell, you don’t have many bad days at work. Adderstone gave me an opportunity where dozens of others turned me away. I won’t let them down.”

As Stan Birtwhistle discovered, a criminal conviction doesn’t automatically mean the end-of-the-road for career prospects. Adderstone is proud to be one of many businesses working with prisons to offer employment to ex-offenders, cut reoffending rates, and change lives.

Our Founder CEO, Ian Baggett, recently committed to form and chair a new Employability Advisory Board (EAB) for HMP Northumberland. Fellow EAB member, Lindsay Blackmore, Deputy Director at HMP Northumberland, advocates strongly for rehabilitation and is a firm believer that employment is key to long term desistance from crime.

HMP Northumberland Employment Advisory Board is an initiative that builds on the work of the New Futures Network. The mission of the EAB is to:

  • Link local businesses with prisons to secure paid work for prison-leavers on release, cut-reoffending rates and contribute to the regional workforce.
  • Help prison-leavers transition into employment with practical support to obtain right-to-work documents, travel costs, interview clothes and workwear.
  • Secure work for newly released prisoners already living responsibly in the community and provide ongoing mentorship to sustain employment.

Ian Baggett says, “Recruiting ex-offenders might not be a classic HR strategy but the evidence does stack up. Everyone needs a job and a purpose in life. Our day job is regenerating and enhancing built environments, so why wouldn’t we do our bit to help safeguard communities too? It’s unbelievably rewarding to watch someone thrive on the back of a second chance. I’d encourage employers across the region to get involved and not just out of social responsibility. The vast majority of ex-offenders are extremely loyal, productive and hardworking so it makes great business sense.”

Beverley Brooks, EAB member and Founder-Director of The Recruitment Junction, the north-east’s only specialist recruitment agency for people with prior convictions, said, “Through initiatives like these, we can address skills shortages across the north-east and contribute to a national reduction in re-offending,”

“I am passionate about seeing people with convictions rediscover their sense of purpose through work and become role models, driving positive generational impact across their families.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab MP officially launched the scheme – crucial in tackling the £18 billion cost of re-offending – during a visit to HMP Wandsworth’s EAB, last week. “Getting prison leavers into work is a formula that works. It reduces the chance of re-offending – cutting crime and making the public safer. It’s a true win-win, allowing us to boost public protection and save the taxpayer money, while providing the reliable staff businesses need to drive the British economy.”

(L-R) Beverley Brooks, Founder-Director of The Recruitment Junction, Ian Baggett, Founder CEO of Adderstone Group. Lindsay Blackmore, Deputy Director at HMP Northumberland, and Stan Birtwhistle, Skilled Labourer at Adderstone Group.

Employers interested in learning more about the opportunities available can contact Beverley Brooks at The Recruitment Junction on