LandWorks - a specialist rehabilitation and resettlement charity working with people in the criminal justice system has taken the Overall Award for Excellence at this year’s prestigious Charity Awards.

As well as winning the top prize in the Social Care, Advice & Support category, the charity was chosen as the Overall Winner by this year’s judges for its decade of work helping people coming out of prison as well as those serving community sentences to shake off their criminal identity.

Trainees who have received occupational training and work experience, pastoral care and peer support at the charity’s site in Dartington, near Totnes, have far lower reoffending rates – five per cent rather than the national average of 37 per cent.

The Charity Awards judges were impressed by the way the charity built trust with its trainees and helped them to rebuild their lives by understanding the experiences that led to their criminal behaviour in the first place.

LandWorks was established in 2013 and became an independent registered charity in 2016.

The site has since grown to include a kitchen to teach the trainees cooking skills, a market stall to sell its produce, and pottery and carpentry workshops. The charity also offers counselling and therapy, tailored resettlement services and peer support.

Over 200 trainees have taken part in the LandWorks programme over its 11- year lifespan.

Charity Awards judge Anne Fox, CEO at Clinks, described LandWorks as a highly innovative model of tackling recidivism:

“There’s just something nice about how they work – they’re very, very person-centred.

“And because of politically where we are right now, any work supporting people to leave the criminal justice system that focuses on their right to do so in a positive way, really needs to be celebrated.”

LandWorks was presented with the trophy at a black-tie ceremony at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

Reflecting on a fantastic night for LandWorks, the charity’s founder and director Chris Parsons said:

“We were surprised enough to win our category, but to then go on to win the overall award is just amazing. We'd like to thank the judges who clearly understood what LandWorks is all about.”