New buddy scheme to help ex-offenders in Hampshire helps man transform his life after he left prison

Former offender Jamie Glasspool tells ITV News Meridian reporter Mary Stanley his story.

Jamie Glasspool was first sent to prison at the age of 16, and has spent 30 years of his life in and out of jail.

He battled drug addiction before he was released in 2020 after serving a sentence for supplying Class A drugs.

After he left prison, Jamie decided to turn his life around.

Now, he has a partner and a new baby on the way.

Jamie credits a new scheme in Hampshire helping prison leavers like him, for giving him the un-judging support he needed to start a new life.

Jamie with mentor Malcolm

The scheme offers prison leavers a befriender to give practical and emotional support.  

New Foundations community chaplaincy is working closely with Winchester Prison to enable ex-offenders like Jamie build a more positive future and to try to cut the re-offending rate.

Jamie has been helped by Malcolm Knightley, a volunteer with New Foundations.

The faith-based charity works alongside ex-offenders, offering practical help such as getting employment or benefits.

It also offers emotional support and guidance, enabling them to set and achieve future goals.  

Jamie said of Malcolm: "He gave me an ear. Gave me someone to speak to about how I was feeling inside, and I could be honest with him."

Breaking the cycle of crime and returning to life after prison can be challenging and many ex offenders fear being released back to their community.

Many face homelessness, have lost jobs and have broken relationships with their family

The charity knows there is no guarantee of a positive outcome but hopes to make a difference to people's lives.

Jamie has a partner and a baby on the way. He hopes to work in the voluntary sector with people facing drug and alcohol addiction.

He told ITV News Meridian of his determination to avoid returning to prison ever again, after receiving Malcolm's help.

"It just made me grow. Just made me grow inside."