From its site in Glasgow’s leafy Mansfield Park the sleek Street & Arrow airstream truck dishes up tasty modern street food. However this social enterprise does more than just good grub, it’s also serving up second chances for its employees.
Street & Arrow hires people with convictions for twelve month blocks. During that time workers are paired with a mentor who can help them master everything from basic employment skills like turning up to work on time through to debt management and relationship issues.
“Its easy to record criminality, but here at Street and Arrow I get to witness the benefits of preventing crime,” says Eddie a mentor with the programme.
“I witness the remarkable transformation in the lives of those willing to access the support on offer. I try to be a positive male role model and a constant in the lives of the trainees. My job is to steer them through their trials and tribulations drawing on my own lived experience.”
Street & Arrow was launched in 2016 as part of Braveheart Industries (BHI) and operates as a social enterprise.
BHI aims to create jobs and opportunities for those with a history of offending or at risk of committing crime. People with a record can often struggle to find employment however research shows that getting a job can be one of the biggest factors in preventing reoffending.
“Getting a foot on the employment ladder can very often be viewed as an impossible task amongst those who have previous criminal history,” says Inspector Iain Murray who is the project lead for BHI.
“Structure, training, support and guidance is key to transforming people, who may have been labelled as hopeless, into positive, contributing and valued members of our communities. At Street & Arrow we provide the platform for those ready to change, to step-up and make the difference, thus breaking the offending cycle and making our towns and cities safer, healthier and more prosperous for all.”
Leeann started as a trainee chef with Street & Arrow and now helps with the running of the social enterprise: "Without being given a chance from BHI my life would not have turned out the way it has today. BHI gave me a chance and i grabbed it with both hands. I am now in my second year of working with Street & Arrow and I am half way through completing my SVQ level 3 in business administration. My confidence has grown in leaps and bounds and its all down to BHI seeing my worth and helping me along the way. I will be forever grateful for what this amazing organisation has done for me. Street & Arrow has helped me become the person I was always meant to be."
Street & Arrow is supported by the European Social Fund and works in partnership with the Scottish Government and Community Justice Glasgow with support from Cafe Gandolfi.
You can follow Street & Arrow on twitter @streetandarrow or on Facebook www.facebook.com/streetandarrow/