University of Bedfordshire students recognised for work with offenders

Awards host Shaun Wallace (left), students Sarah Gatehouse, Samantha Tedeku, Shannon Delboyer and senior lecturer in Applied Social Studies at Bedfordshire Alex de Mont.
Awards host Shaun Wallace (left), students Sarah Gatehouse, Samantha Tedeku, Shannon Delboyer and senior lecturer in Applied Social Studies at Bedfordshire Alex de Mont.

Three students from the University of Bedfordshire have been recognised for their work on a project to help offenders reintegrate back into the community and turn their lives around.

Applied Social Studies students Shannon Delboyer, Samantha Tedeku and Sarah Gatehouse were presented with a Susan de Mont Award by PLIAS Resettlement, an organisation that helps offenders reintegrate into the community.

The students worked in the Phoenix Project, which aimed to support black, Asian and minority ethnic women ex-offenders from Brent and Harrow to overcome barriers to education, training and employment to create steps to rebuild their lives and break the cycle of offending.

Director of PLIAS Resettlement Norma Hoyte said: “We are delighted to present Shannon, Samantha and Sarah with this award. It is testament to the hard work they put into the Phoenix Project and the positive impact they have had on so many people.”

The students helped clients into work, engaged with clients to provide support and action plans at various locations across a wide range of issues including domestic violence, mental health, welfare benefits, employment, homelessness and poverty in Brent, Harrow and other west London areas. They also created case notes and attended case review meetings.

“I hope that the placements have given the students practical experience that can be evidenced in their assignments and that they have a clearer understanding of the specific areas of health and social care that they will focus on for future education or employment,” said Norma.

Senior lecturer in Applied Social Studies at Bedfordshire Dr Suzella Palmer said: “Norma is a former student of ours, and we are extremely proud of the meaningful and life-changing work that she and our current students are doing on the ground with disadvantaged women and their families. What makes the Phoenix Project so successful is the emphasis on providing holistic support for women and interventions that are culturally specific.”