Today Unlock officially launches its updated online forum to support people in overcoming the stigma of their criminal record.
Christopher Stacey, Co-director of Unlock said:
“Although there’s over 10.5 million people in the UK with a criminal record, it can often feel like a lonely place when you’re struggling with the stigma and discrimination that can come with a criminal record. Problems can unexpectedly come up many years after, including practical issues like disclosing your record to employers, finding insurance and going on holiday. The sense of isolation and lack of confidence can compound this problem. That’s why we’re delighted to launch our updated forum, as we know it’s a great way for people to share their experiences, motivate others, highlight examples of bad practice and help push for changes”.
The forum, which was originally set up over seven years ago, has over 2,600 members who, between them, have made 22,384 posts.
Commenting on the re-design, Debbie Sadler, Advice Manager at Unlock and project lead for the recent update, said:
“The forum provides a fantastic community for people with convictions to get information, advice and support from others who have been in similar situations. After 7 years, the forum needed a bit of a face lift and some restructuring to make it better able to meet the needs of people with a criminal record. The new forum is certainly more user-friendly and will hopefully help us to reach and involve more people with convictions, as well as being a big hit with our existing members”.
theForum offers people with convictions the chance to:
- Engage in a positive, peer-to-peer community
- Provide and receive information, advice and support in overcoming the stigma of a criminal record
- Share positive experiences and inspirational stories
Jamie, a person with a criminal record who used Unlock’s previous forum said:
“I joined the forum when it first started 7 yeas ago. I saw it as a way of talking with and listening to other people with convictions who had between them a vast amount of experience and were prepared to share their advice with others who were trying to find that all important break and re-build their lives. The forum provides a form of support which, over the years, has been invaluable. The more people with convictions that know about this, the better.
For more information
- You can visit the forum or find out further information
- A poster that promotes theForum can be found here
- There is further information about the recent changes to the forum.