It was a real pleasure to spend time with our president up from London. Jonathan combined a talk at Leeds Trinity University with a visit to the Tempus Novo headquarters at HMP Leeds, where he met our amazing staff. A proud day all round really, having a former Minister (and offender of course) take time out of his busy schedule to speak to the staff and some of our partners.
It was in fact having read a report by The Centre for Social Justice “Locked Up Potential” back in 2010 that inspired the founders to set up Tempus Novo in the first place. The author of that report was Jonathan Aitken and some of his recommendations still influence policy makers today in the world of crime and rehabilitation.
The day started with one of Jonathan’s fascinating talks, where he addressed a group of students studying journalism and he told them about his time as a Vietnamese war correspondent, which was fascinating and poignant. He went on to answer several questions, and inevitably the question of his time in prison came up, something he never shy’s away from and in fact quite the opposite. Since coming out of prison Jonathan has used that experience to help countless people and continues to do so through charities like TN. His vast knowledge and lived experience has served to change so many lives for the better and it’s worth mentioning how he got visibly excited when approached to be our president back in 2014, as he knew that former prison officers with almost 60 years lived experience and a model based on sustainable employment, could go on to help more and more disadvantaged people,TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY to date.
He had a tour of HMP Leeds where he met the Governor Steve Robson, spoke to several staff and serving prisoners and he also met with Simon one of our superstar graduates who has been with Nationwide Window Cleaning 18 months now and has been nominated for employee of the year. We finished the day off at another of our wonderful supporters Eversheds-Sutherland who provide us with city centre office space and Jonathan met with the Group HR Director of Clipper plc, Richard Cowlishaw to discuss expansion plans for Tempus Novo in 2019.