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Our Story

The 2nd Chance Group’s journey began when our Founder, James Mapstone, was Physical Education Manager at HMP & Young Offenders’ Institute Ashfield. It was there he first experienced the power of sport as a tool for engaging some of society’s most complex and challenging young people.

James and his team helped young people at Ashfield achieve a variety of positive social outcomes by providing sport opportunities and linking them to education, training, mentoring and community partnerships.

The project’s success, and the resulting recognition it received, led to funding from the Football Foundation, which saw the formation of the 2nd Chance Project CIC in May 2008. Its mission: to reduce the 83% reoffending rate using the power of sport.

Over the ensuing years, work extended beyond prison walls to engage with released offenders and community groups. This expansion led to the creation of several clearly-defined brands, including Pause & Engage, a one-to-one mentoring service, and Coachmakers, which is focussed on training the next generation of sports coaches and supporting young people 16-25 years old into employment.

In 2015, there was a subtle but significant change of name, to the 2nd Chance Group, to reflect the huge diversity of projects and services that we had developed. Later that year came the launch of our biggest and most ambitious venture yet; the National Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime.

The Alliance saw us established as the national lead for using sport to tackle crime and rehabilitate offenders. It brings together key stakeholders from across the UK and beyond to support the delivery of best practice, policy and strategy, as well as providing a platform to share learning, information and celebrate success.

The 2nd Chance Group became the ‘energy centre’ of all this activity, providing leadership, support and security during these times of austerity.

It drives the entrepreneurial and innovative culture that characterises each of our enterprises and has been vital to their success. It also ensures that, every day, the focus of the business remains on its mission: to use the power of sport to repair broken lives and build a stronger future for young people.

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