Since opening up the Navigate Initiative (NI) unit on the 8th October 2018, there have been 24 men enter the unit, five men have been released into the community, and a further four have gained release dates for the near future.
Highlights within the unit during the last few months have included having Richard Black, a skilled counsellor from Strength to Strength, come and lead a workshop in the unit, as well as driving instructor Tim, from PROactive Drive, providing road safety and driving classes. The Tu Ora participated in the City2Surf Run within the boundaries of prison, with goals of strengthening the community spirit and promoting the physical and social benefits of exercise and overall well-being. Completing this run was not easy for many of the Tu Ora, who had had no previous history of running, but who were determined and motivated to achieve their set goals.
“I’ve never run a distance over 2km, so it’s a bit overwhelming to run 14km. But I’m treating it like the rest of my life, one step at a time.” – Tu Ora
The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra has been leading a music development workshop for the Tu Ora, and a Barista training programme is currently being developed that will provide some hands-on work experience.
Meeting the fundraising needs of the Navigate Initiative remains a focus. Over the course of the last 6 months, the goal of securing the finances required to operate the Navigate Initiative over the next five years has drawn closer. New and ongoing fundraising initiatives are underway and Pathway is excited and committed to grow this unique social investment model.
As with most new projects, there have been a number of challenges around providing a community-based programme inside a custodial environment. A lot has been learnt in a short time and from this learning, improvements will be implemented. A priority will be learning and using the enhanced pre and post release support systems which will establish better reintegration outcomes.
Overall the progress being made is encouraging and there are good outcomes being achieved by both the men in the unit and those released into the community.