Recycling Lives creates £4.1m social value

Recycling Lives has three core charity programmes:

Our Food Redistribution Centre – the Lancashire and Cumbria arm of charity FareShare – bridges the gap between food suppliers and charitable organisations. Taking surplus food from the former to distribute to the latter, it tackles food poverty and supports groups working with stretched resources.

The Centre served 531,000 meals in its first year, 2015/16, delivering 10,000 meals a week via its network of 85 members, which includes homeless shelters, breakfast clubs and food banks.

This work created social value of £1.7m, calculated from the annual saving for members accessing the food and the value of meals served.

Our HMP Academies create opportunities for men and women in prison to ‘earn and learn’, in order to significantly reduce their risk of reoffending. Undertaking recycling processes in workshops in seven prisons across the country, offenders develop life and work skills and are supported to secure employment and accommodation upon release.

During 2015/16 there were 38 participants, of which 37 were successfully rehabilitated and did not re-offend. This remarkable figure is all the more impressive when considered alongside national figures and findings on reoffending rates which show that for every 100 individuals released from prison, 67 will reoffend.

The HMP Academies created social value of £2.4m in one year alone, based on the annual saving to the taxpayer by an individual desisting from offending and staying out of the criminal justice and welfare systems.

The organisation also has a residential charity from which men facing homelessness, who often have histories of offending, unemployment or mental health problems, access a structured Six-Stage programme to regain their independence through skills training, work placements and holistic support.

Each of Recycling Lives social value figures have been calculated using government metrics, including from the Food Standards Agency and Cabinet Office.