Doing Life Differently

Our ground-breaking Perspectives Project exists to empower, educate and mentor young men caught up in the Criminal Justice System. Inspired by our Christian faith, our support encourages them to make positive choices, lead crime free futures and experience fullness of life in body, mind and spirit.

We believe in developing relationships with every individiual, supporting healing and restoration and speaking freedom into their lives.

Working with young men on community orders, suspended sentences or post-sentence supervision there are three key strands to our work:

  • Learning: We run small group community based courses for ex-offenders that focus on personal and interpersonal skills. These courses are accredited through the National Open College Network and teach core skills including decision making, action planning, interacting with others, body language and positive communication.
  • Mentoring: In association with Dorset, Devon and Cornwall CRC, we offer one to one mentoring support for young men on probation as part of their community order. Through mentoring we address key areas: housing; food and finance; mental health and wellbeing; purpose and identity; support networks and contributing to society, including employment.
  • Therapeutic activity: Every week we run group activities that support young men as they re-integrate into the community. These activities enable them to connect with nature, experience personal enrichment and build community, and include running our popular allotment project and taking part in cooking groups.

We believe whole heartedly in collaborative working across the community and we work closely with numerous other agencies on the development of a Criminal Justice Pathway at CoLab – Exeter’s multi-agency wellbeing hub. We are also members of the South West Mentor Alliance.

Funding Appeal

In August 2019 we received an unexpected funding challenge for our Perspectives project due to changes with a long term funder. However, we feel called to step out in faith and continue supporting young ex-offenders despite now facing a financial shortfall of £9,083 until the end of the year.

Whether you are an individual or represent a local church or Christian community, please consider donating towards our funding appeal as we continue to seek the way forward for this project.

You can make a donation via the CAF form below, by setting up a BACS transfer or sending a cheque to our main address:

CAF Bank: YMCA Exeter Community Projects

Sort code: 40-52-40, Account number: 00029194

YMCA Exeter, 39/41 St David’s Hill, Exeter, EX4 4DA


Criminal justice devon east
Sam Thomas
Community Projects Manager