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Empowering Change: Inside Out Conversions at HMP Rochester

With generous support from the National Lottery, the Henry Smith Foundation, and the Collyer Fergusson Foundation, our Inside Out Conversions initiative has made significant strides within HMP Rochester. Collaborating closely with a group of currently incarcerated individuals, we've launched a pilot training program aimed at converting a 2013 Mercedes Sprinter into a top-tier campervan available for rent.

Our project not only allows us to engage in the hands-on transformation of an old delivery van into a desirable and valuable asset but also presents an opportunity to breathe new life into what was previously deemed obsolete. The profound symbolism of this endeavor resonates with the thirteen trainees who are now mapping out fresh trajectories for their lives beyond prison walls.

Over the past three weeks, we've immersed all participants in the planning of Inside Out as a nascent social enterprise. Simultaneously, we've assisted them in shaping their concepts into tangible business plans, laying the groundwork for ventures they can embark upon upon release.

Each trainee has navigated CAP's comprehensive 5Ps business planning process, developing robust business models and pitching their prospective enterprises to potential investors. Despite the challenging prison environment and limitations imposed by incarceration, every individual has exhibited remarkable creativity, unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit in endeavors ranging from Daniel's Latin-inspired food truck to Steve's garage door refurbishment business. Even amid adversity, AJ's trainer boutique and Richard's deeply poignant video messaging service reflect their unwavering commitment and enthusiasm for forging new paths.

This experience has truly been a privilege, collaborating with these individuals during the inaugural phase of the Inside Out Conversions pilot. As we continue crafting the campervan, we invite you to stay tuned for further developments.

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