QBE European Operations actively supports the StandOut charity

QBE European Operations actively supports the StandOut charity

 July 16, 2022

Working for an employer that encourages and supports its local community can be very rewarding. As such, the QBE European Operations QBE Foundation is committed to improving the resilience and preparedness of its communities through long-term partnerships that will help people to help themselves, such as through education and raising awareness around risks so that people and communities are better equipped to protect themselves.

As part of QBE Foundation's grant programme, the company is proud to support StandOut - a charity that delivers intensive group programmes inside prisons, followed by 1:1 tailored support, training and employment after release.

With a grant from QBE European Operations, StandOut is expanding its community-based package of support for StandOut trainees that have been released from prison.

QBE Foundation's grant programme supports people

QBE European Operations Global Foundation Committee (GFC) oversees the Foundation and sets its community investment strategy within the context of its group-wide Sustainability Framework. It also monitors activity across its divisions with a long-term focus.

Each QBE European Operations division has a local Foundation Committee, that works with passionate local employees to engage with charities in their area of operations. These employees work as local Foundation champions, investigating local community needs and facilitating wider employee engagement. The GFC includes representatives from each of its divisional committees. The activities of the QBE Foundation fall into five categories: charity partnerships, local grants, volunteering, workplace giving and in-kind giving.

Each divisional QBE Foundation Committee assesses partnership applications against the global and divisional strategic objectives, and global eligibility criteria. Each Committee assesses not-for-profit organisations based on their alignment with the Foundation’s vision, requiring these organisations to demonstrate engagement opportunities for local employees and real community impact.

Across its divisions, the organisation works with its partners to establish multi-year partnerships that focus on creating outcomes and impact for the communities in which it operates. It also looks for ways to support them via events, fundraising, media advocacy and employee volunteering.

The QBE Foundation’s local grants program enables its people to support causes or programs they are passionate about within their communities. Employees can apply for a local grant of up to $10,000 for an organisation or charity of their choice, subject to certain eligibility and budget criteria. Employees can also apply for matched funding of up to $5,000 a year for their personal fundraising initiatives.

Supporting the best possible opportunities

People leaving prison need the best possible chance to rebuild their lives if they are to move out of the justice system for good. StandOut's mission is that more people leaving prison are empowered to transform their own lives, realise their potential, and escape the justice system for good.

For many people, key to achieving that is long-term holistic support through a relationship based on trust. StandOut delivers intensive group programmes inside prison followed by 1:1 individually-tailored support after release for as long as required.

StandOut trainees are four times more likely to be in work than the average prison leaver and 81 per cent of StandOut trainees do not reoffend.

Phase 1: intensive course inside prison

StandOut’s support begins with an intensive four-week programme inside prison to prepare people for life outside. Group work is combined with in-depth one-to-one sessions so that coaches can get to know each person’s needs and their hopes for the future.

The course includes:

  • Developing positive mindsets and new ways of thinking
  • Overcoming trauma and building the resilience needed to handle setbacks
  • Developing key life skills in communication, leadership, and organisation
  • Visits from employers who believe in second chances for prison leavers
  • Volunteer-led CV writing and mock interview workshops
  • Building confidence, motivation and self-worth.

StandOut coaches create a safe space where people can discover who they are and what they are capable of achieving. They build non-judgemental and honest relationships, based on trust, which are crucial for the next phase of StandOut’s support.

Phase 2: preparation for release

After the course, coaches continue to offer one-to-one practical support and work with people to plan for life and work beyond release. This work is often carried out in collaboration with other support services such as housing and substance misuse recovery workers.

Phase 3: support beyond prison

The hard work really starts when people leave prison. Contrary to what many think, release from prison isn’t always an exciting prospect for people. There is often a great deal of uncertainty about the first days and weeks, and very few people are ‘ready’ for work straight after prison.

StandOut coaches offer one-to-one, holistic support after release for as long as required. This support looks different for everyone. It is individually tailored to each person and their plans to build stability in their lives.

The journey, which can often involve ups and downs, focuses on employment, education or training but also involves wrap-around support to help people build stability across all areas of life. This can include support with housing, recovery from alcohol and substance misuse, issues with family or difficulties with mental health. Life is complicated and there is rarely a quick fix and so StandOut’s door is always open.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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