On Tuesday 27th February Perth and District YMCA celebrated the completion of Journey to Freedom’s first pilot programme in Scotland.
Perth and District YMCA, in conjunction with Restore Ministries, Nashville USA and HMP Perth, recently conducted the first pilot programme in the UK at Perth Prison with financial support from Novum Trust. The programme ran from November to February, with three inmates and the chaplain completing the programme. Journey to Freedom has proven to significantly reduce rates of re-offense and assists inmates in their reintegration into society after prison. When asked what part of the programme was most beneficial, one participant said “Finding out more about God, and getting to understand my strengths and weaknesses.” He also noted he is already beginning to see positive change in himself and the other participants.
Journey to Freedom is an adaptable eight week guided small group programme that lays the foundation for successful life changes in a supportive, caring and confidential environment. Through the eight weeks participants are encouraged to consider the roles that self-esteem, fear, relationships, faith and past experiences play in their lives, and find hope as they learn to live in lasting freedom. Each participant completes an action plan toward the end of the programme which empowers them with achievable long term goals. Journey to Freedom has a very holistic approach as it offers tools along with an inspiring, practical, and hope-filled vision for permanently changing participants mind, body and spirit.
Looking ahead there is one participant from the prison that is interested in being trained as a facilitator and another who has volunteered to begin gathering participants for the next programme, beginning in May. Perth and District YMCA have eight trained facilitators and are currently running another Journey to Freedom programme for young women.
To find out more contact Alyxs, our Journey to Freedom coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org