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Breaking In

By Andy Mouncey, Feb 6 2019 06:55PM

So you think it’s hard breaking out of prison? You want to try breaking in.

This is what it takes for a new social enterprise with One Big Idea to get going in our Justice sector – as lived by Andy Mouncey of Run For Your Life CIC www.runforyourlife.org.uk


Timeline To Date

2012 First invitation to a Category C prison. Project pulled pre-start

2013 First short pilot delivered (unpaid) at a Cat D prison

2014-16 More testing – more pilots – still no ££

2016 RFYL Conception

2017 RFYL Community Interest Company incorporation

2018 Doors open – doors close: Repeat. Still no ££


The Numbers

Funding Bids Written & Rejected: 19

Times I’ve Honestly Thought About Quitting: 4

Times My Wife Has Given Me Permission To Quit: 2


Kissing Frogs

It goes with the territory: Sifting the wheat from the chaff – finding those who are mouth and trousers AND who genuinely welcome what you got as opposed to seeing it – and me - as a threat. I’d learned very quickly to be disarming from the outset especially with some Physical Education teams. My favorite opener:

‘I don’t want to work here and I don’t want your jobs.’

As a wind-out-of-sales / get-yer-attention gambit I’d yet to find anything as effective.


All of which means that when you do get a break from pushing water uphill it feels really REALLY nice.

So it was recently when I visited one of my ‘warm’ prisons again after a gap of about a year. Not that I’d be particularly idle in that time, you understand – just rejected bid after rejected funding bid that meant I was firmly in the ‘Nothing To Report’ file.

So it was a genuine delight to be warmly welcomed back by folks from the PE team I remembered from a year ago.

‘Are we still on?’

‘What do you need?’

‘Look – we’re still up for it and we can make it work!’


Of course I had a plan and a shopping list and an hour later we had a more detailed plan and a shorter shopping list. There was still the small matter of some ££ - but I had a new plan for that too. More importantly I left there feeling somewhat lighter than I arrived AND within touching distance of actually GETTING STARTED.

As long as we could make the ££ work…


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