We’ve updated our forum and opened up discussions

We’re delighted to be at the stage where we’ve got our updated forum up and live. There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes to update the platform that the forum runs on to try and make it visually more engaging and easier to use.

Another motivation behind this work was changes that we’d reluctantly made to the forum back in 2013 to restrict discussions relating to sexual offences. Ever since that point, we’d always recognised the importance of the forum in helping people of all conviction types to be aware of their rights and responsibilities and to have the knowledge to enable them to comply with any requirement placed upon them and to seek this information, advice and support in a safe environment.

It’s taken us a lot longer than we’d hoped (mainly because this work coincided with a huge increase in enquiries to our helpline, so we’ve been very stretched for resources) but we think we’re finally there.

As part of the forum update, it was important that we not only address the needs of people with sexual offences but, when considering an update of theForum, we were keen to get as much input from people with convictions as possible. We did this by way of a survey.

Key responses to the survey were:

  • 62% of responders felt that there was a need for an updated, dedicated Unlock forum
  • 76% believed that there should be no restrictions on the type of offences which were discussed on theForum

To  respond to these results, we’ve taken the decision to give theForum a more modern, user-friendly look and, once again, open up discussion around sexual offences.

A specific section has been set up to deal with the issues affecting people convicted of sexual offences (for example notification requirements, SOPO’s, travelling abroad and the sharing of information). This is a private section and only members who’ve been added to it will be able to access or contribute to it.

New members joining theForum will be asked to provide details of the type of offence they were convicted of. Those with a sexual offence will automatically be joined to this section. If you’d prefer not to have access to it and wish to unsubscribe, please email forum@unlock.org.uk.

If you’re an existing member with a conviction for a sexual offence who’s interested in joining this specific section, please email forum@unlock.org.uk.

If you have any questions about any of the above, you can email forum@unlock.org.uk.

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Debbie Sadler