Ex-convict puts life of crime behind him with help from AFC Fylde Community Foundation

Jason Phillips, Tom Hutton, AFC Fylde Community Foundation director, PCC Clive Grunshaw and Chris McNally
Jason Phillips, Tom Hutton, AFC Fylde Community Foundation director, PCC Clive Grunshaw and Chris McNally

A former prisoner who was in and out of jail for 25 years has told how his life was turned around by a scheme to tackle reoffending.

Jason Phillips, from Blackpool, explained how AFC Fylde Community Foundation staff helped him following his release from prison when he met Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw.

Mr Grunshaw has awarded the Foundation more than £18,000 to develop its Positive Pathways, Connecting Communities programme, which involves staff meeting prisoners to find out what additional support they might need when they are released.

Mr Grunshaw joined foundation staff at the Fylde Sports and Education Centre in Wesham, where he met Jason, who admitted he sometimes committed crime to deliberately get caught and be placed back into custody.

With a background of drug and alcohol abuse, the 47-year-old said he felt safe in prison because he got fed and didn’t have to look over his shoulder.

AFC Fylde staff met Jason while he was in custody and were able to plan what he needed upon his release, such as accommodation and support for his alcohol and drug issues.

He has been working with AFC Fylde for the past three months and said he is happy in his accommodation and finding positive ways to fill his time.

Mr Grunshaw said: “Policing alone cannot prevent people reoffending and this builds on the work already being done across the county.

“It is clear that programmes like this can make a huge difference and help turn people’s lives around.”