Last autumn we received a wonderful email from Major Stan M Hardy, Deputy Lieutenant, West Yorkshire and we wanted to share it with you. Thanks so much for your support Stan!
“Prevention is better than cure is an adage which is almost as old as the hills but no less true for being old. It’s more than a proverb, it’s a principle which should be the hallmark of every legitimate human endeavour and certainly in service planning. It is without doubt the guiding principle of CASCADE and the team which so successfully pursues the aim of giving disadvantaged people a second chance.
“It is no co-incidence that 70% of those men and women serving custodial sentences are functionally illiterate – not because they lack intelligence but rather that they have a functional disability such as dyslexia. Having spent their childhood and early youth being dismissed as “thick, stupid and incapable”, they begin to believe it. Their frustration at being excluded and effectively condemned to uselessness creates anxiety and resentment and so frequently a chemical dependency and criminality follows. Hence 70% of offenders in custody also have a mental health challenge and a dependency. A case of the “blinding flash of the obvious” if anyone in authority cared to look.
“CASCADE successfully helps such people by treating them as individuals and addressing each one’s individual literacy obstacles. CASCADE never writes off anyone but assiduously supports each individual through learning to read and write, through job interview role play, rebuilding confidence and self-respect weaning them off dependency and into real, satisfying work. Perhaps most important CASCADE breaks the cycle of offending,
“CASCADE’s ethos and work is based on the very simple premise that everyone can succeed with just a little but genuine support. The skills CASCADE imparts to its service users are critical but CASCADE also goes that extra mile since it also gives them support, time and hope, something the official structure doesn’t seem to recognise as important.”
Major Stan M Hardy, Deputy Lieutenant, West Yorkshire