Thursday, 11 October 2012


This evening I'm attending Leicestershire & Rutland Probation Trust's annual Diversity Reception, which is being held in Harvest City Church, St Margaret's Business Centre.

The theme of this year's event is "Young Men & Women: Making the Transition from Offender to Responsible Citizen".

After the chance to eat and drink from the buffet provided by Green's Delicatessen and Outside Catering Service, from Loughborough (nice range of vegetarian food, all clearly marked) while enjoying live music from guitar and keyboard duo, The Untouchables, we take our seats for the welcome and introduction by Helen West LRPT's Chief Executive. We're given an overview of the Trust's 2012 diversity programme that looks at issues affecting the under-25 age group, as well as a brief review of the Trust's progress through last year's diversity programme, working with individuals with hidden disabilities, such as Autism and Asberger's Syndrome.

There are short, informative presentations from a panel of ten staff members, broken down into general topics relevant to this evening's theme: Relationships and Lifestyles; Education, Training and Employment; and Accommodation. As an introduction to each of these themes, we hear three dramatised monologues, based on real-life experiences of service users, delivered by members of Off the Fence Theatre Company.

I've been to several of the Trust's Diversity Receptions during my five years in post and I have to hand it to them: they really know how to mix it up and present something fresh each year.

At the end of the Q&A, I get a few minutes to plug the forthcoming Choice Unlimited event, since both that occasion and this reception focus on the same age group.

Despite the fact that the Leicestershire & Rutland Probation Trust is one of the most effective organisations at putting diversity close to the top of its agenda, there has never been any meaningful working relationship between it and Leicester Council of Faiths. I hope that can be rectified in the near future.

I'm also glad of the opportunity to do some positive networking with some of the other guests - particularly Cllr Sarah Russell, who is standing as the Labour Party candidate for the new post of elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. We have an interesting chat about religiously motivated Hate Crime in the city and county and the relationship (such as it is) between Leicester Council of Faiths and agencies like the Safer Leicester Partnership.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for putting this on face book. This is my second year organising the LRPT Diversity Reception and the feed back is really helpful for me to develop this event for next year. I hope to build up more links with you George in this being the start of my second year as the Diversity Officer for LRPT. Just to add to your feed back that some of the actors were service users who are involved in LRPTs Quality of Life project, aimed at helping them develop self esteem and confidence to make changes in their lives. They really did a great job and I was so pleased that they found the confidence to play the roles. They were helped to do this by the support from The Of the Fence Theater Company who work with The Quality of Life team. The music production was by the duo The Untouchables who did a great job too, they are part of the The Lex Icon Corporation (which is the Big band) see youtube if you would like to see the band performing. They do provide live music for any function for any queries , please contact. 0116 2751105 / 0797 407 3699. Greens from Loubrough provied the food to a excellent standard and made provision for all dietary needs. The venue was used last year, and Hellen and all the people that helped from the Harvest City Church have been, yet again brilliant. LRPT staff that were involved in making the evening so effective gave up their evenings to help, I think this shows just how dedicated our staff are to making a difference, we have a number of unsung heros in LRPT. Last but not least to all the people that attended I would like to say a big thank you. Please let me know if you or anyone elce would like to come a long next year and I will add you to the guest list. If you have any ideas on what you think we could focuse on for next years event, please also let me know. Kind Regards Theresa Lapidge