We are Startup

Startup’s core team is small and dynamic, with a hands-on Trustee board, and draws extensively on the experience and energy of its peer mentors – Startup clients who have successfully turned their lives around.

Founded in 2006 and still led by Juliet Hope, the charity benefits from active partnering with funders, support workers and the business community. The team combines backgrounds across the voluntary sector, education and business to provide clients with high-quality, professional support.

Our clients are women whose lives have come into contact with the Criminal Justice System as well as young women who are seriously disadvantaged by social, economic and family circumstances.  We work together with local groups and service providers as well as hostels, refuges and women’s centres to provide as holistic support as possible.

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Each year more than 80,000 prisoners are released from prison but nearly two-thirds of them will have re-offended within 2 years. We know that there are many factors contributing to offending that include family, social, educational and work problems. One of the real tragedies is the loss of the individual’s potential contribution to society and the damage to their families and children.

They are very hands on in their support for you… you don’t feel like a number in their books… they have so much energy.

It is easy to understand why re-offending can occur as people often leave prison with no money, no car, no bank account, no job and no references. Startup hopes to help ex-offenders solve some of these problems by becoming self-employed, giving them a real chance of a fresh start.

We provide focused, caring and consistent support, both financial and personal, that will reduce re-offending by enabling ex-offenders to become self-employed. A Recent delivery of life skills and employability training is focused on helping young women to stay out of prison.

We treat all the women we work with as valued Clients and use our best endeavours to help them return to a positive and productive life where they will add value to society.

Our model of support is unique in that we provide seamless support for Clients. We work with them whilst still in prison and continue to support them for at least a year once they have become self-employed. Our Clients are intrinsically involved in the development of their idea for self-employment; we are not interested in imposing our ideas on them, but rather in facilitating their own. The Startup model has been developed with ex-offenders and offenders directly contributing ideas, helping plan services and developing a peer network of support.

Our Clients are inspirational. They have often surfaced from immense challenges and yet are already proving that they can become successfully self-employed whether they offer web design, chocolate making, gardening, beauty or hairdressing services, commercial cleaning, sign writing, personal fitness training and more.