This report looks back on what was the second year of the pandemic, a year in which we became used to doing things differently. We demonstrated what has become the norm for Catch22: an ability to be agile, flexible, and responsive to the needs of those we work with, whether it is those who participate in our services or those who commission us.
We have stated before that Catch22 is an optimistic organisation, an organisation that consistently looks to find solutions and support those we work with to move forward in their lives. This optimism is critical when working with our constituents, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. From those who are digitally excluded to those who have gone missing, been subject to exploitation, got caught up in gangs and violence to those who have needed support in finding work or in finding somewhere safe to live. The capacity of our colleagues to maintain their own positivity has been crucial in their ability to provide the support required by those we work with.
This report captures the breadth of Catch22’s activity – a set of stories and insights that clearly demonstrates the concept of cradle to career support. It was the year in which Ripplez Community Interest Company joined us, bringing with them a capability to work with women who repeatedly have children who are removed into the care system. This way of working exemplifies our fundamental belief in the importance of relationships in creating sustainable change in the lives of those blighted by a range of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
The report highlights several significant developments in the ongoing evolution of Catch22, these include the opening of the Catch22 MAT’s state of the art school, The Austen Academy, in Basingstoke for children with autistic spectrum disorders to the securing of nine personal well-being contracts from the Ministry of Justice to engage with individuals working to break free from cycles of offending and re-offending. In addition, we continued to develop new ways of reaching those we aim to work with and in achieving our charitable objectives. To this end, we created a new joint venture company with our Australian Partners, The Angus Knight Group and through this venture secured a Restart contract with the Department of Work and Pensions.
So, this has been yet another busy, energising, and engaging year. A year in which we touched the lives of over 160,000 individuals across England and Wales. None of this can be achieved without the considerable insight, foresight and sheer professionalism of our board, the trust placed in us by our commissioners and funders, the enthusiasm and commitment of our volunteers and fundamentally the energy, drive and undying passion and belief of the staff who go to work every day to try and make a difference.