WCHG’s Evolution Project Partnership Helps Deter Young People from Crime

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG) has once again teamed up with the Evolution Project to create a programme of activities aimed at deterring youths involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour from their current lifestyle before it is too late and they end up in prison.

This is the 3rd time that the Housing Group has worked in partnership with the Evolution Project, led by two ex-offenders, Craig Fletcher and Peter Atherton, and it is also a joint venture between the WCHG’s Youth Team and Community Safety Team.

Craig Fletcher, who set up The Evolution Project back in 2008 after completing a prison sentence for supplying drugs, went on to study for a degree in youth and community work. He created the Evolution programme to try and deter young people away from a life of crime, address offending behaviours and to change attitudes by giving them different choices.

The project also gives participants the opportunity to give something back to the community and actively seeks out voluntary work for them to do. For instance, they took part in a project to clear and plant gardens at the Enterprise Centre which helped them develop skills whilst also improving the neighbourhood, providing WCHG with great value for money and also, crucially, helping make Wythenshawe a better place to live.

As Craig explains; “I want to dispel the myth that prison is a cool place where prisoners play video games, have pool tables and TV in their rooms. This programme is about debunking and de-glamorising some of these myths, and also about increasing their awareness of victims and the impact their behaviour has on their lives.

The intensive programme culminated in a motivational walking trip up Moel Famau in North Wales – a life changing event for some.

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group has a strong track record of working in partnership through successful community investment and sees project’s like this as a way of helping build safer communities and helping young people on the path to purposeful lives and to become good citizens.

Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive of WCHG said that “This project is a great example of the work that Housing Associations do as part of a greater community remit. The participants of this programme are potentially our future tenants, so this investment to get them change their behaviour helps us in our vision to create ‘a community where people choose to live and work, having pride in their homes and services’. ”

WCHG's Evolution Project