Juggling Resources for the Life Change Program,
The MALS Merseyside registered charity depends on the good will and generosity of others to simply survive. Indeed, it can be like balancing on a knife edge financially. There have been times in the not too distant past when I used my own savings to keep MALS afloat.
My name is Clare Donohue and I have a passion to try and to change lives. I am the CEO of MALS Merseyside and for nearly a decade we have been changing the world by trying to support and change one person at a time. I am totally confident by all working closely together, we can make MALS Merseyside a great place, but most of all, we can have a profound impact on people’s lives.
To do this we need to source funding for our charity. This funding comes in many forms, cash, bicycles, baked beans, technical help, marketing, volunteer mentors, trustees and professionals giving their time to realise our vision. We recently got some fantastic news, in the form of funding for three years from Lloyds Foundation. The funding is in place for MALS Merseyside to deliver four Life Change programmes per year, for three years, in local prisons and also to mentor forty-eight clients per year on release from custody. I would like to thank the Lloyds Foundation for their generosity and help; it is very much appreciated and will change lives.
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I believe this planet and the people living on it are wonderful. Some people, often through circumstance and no fault of their own, don’t always fit it our society. They might have a distorted worldview where they think it is necessary to steal or hurt people to themselves to make their way in life. Then there are those with mental health problems who simply cannot function in our world as you and I do. Do you think these people evil, are they beyond hope and redemption? I say no and therefore we deliver the Life Change Programme which does what is says on the label, changes lives.
Some Great News
Just to reinforce this point; a good news story but with a twist! One of our Life Change Program course clients we mentor, has just found full-time employment. However, despite this fantastic news, as an ex-offender, he has been told he will have to leave the bail hostel where he lives, (as he will not be able to afford the rent). This means if he takes the job, as things stand, he becomes homeless, (which prejudices his employment)! Imagine how this man feels after the exhilaration of being offered employment.
The Government talks about the rehabilitation of offenders and “doing the right thing” by finding employment. Perhaps the Home Office can explain to us, and him, why our client should be made homeless because he has turned his life around and “did the right thing.” On top of that, this is the second time this has happened to him. So now we are desperately trying to support him so he can take up his new job and become a productive member of society, and change his life for the better.
This is what the Mals Merseyside Charity and the Life Change Program does. Sometimes though we must pick up the pieces and fight for people who genuinely want to change their lives; the many who slip through the ill-thought out system that is supposed to create a fairer society and help people realise their full potential despite the adversities they survive and work their way through.
We are personally sometimes frustrated by the system; the ill-thought-out rules that are supposed to save the tax-payer money. Perhaps if our client re-offends because of this? a Government spokesperson can tell us exactly how this helps the client “do the right thing” and saves the tax-payer money. When the new Government is elected, we will be seeking answers to this question and I will publish their response, (if they can be bothered to focus their minds on it). A crazy world we live in!
Of course, we do not enjoy balancing on the knife edge and are always looking for new funding sources. If you have some money, time or something you could donate to our organisation, to keep on changing the world we all live in, one person at a time, please email me at email@example.com.