Gethin Jones believes the convictions that someone carries in their history do not have to define the life that comes after a sentence.
A sentiment that’s very much supported by The Forward Trust, a match funding partner on Crowdfunder, who believe that ‘people are capable of transformational change, no matter how chaotic their histories’.
His own time in jail and his lived experience of finding meaning and motivation to succeed since then, has set him on a path to help others. His business ‘Unlocking Potential’, carries with it the memory of a man who came into Gethin’s prison to share his own story of success, one which has empowered Gethin to follow in his footsteps.
Unlocking Potential helps the prison service look after those that work for them and the inmates that are in their care. The road to rehabilitation, Gethin believes, can begin in prison by sharing positive stories and it is his role as a motivational speaker, to help people find their way back into the world.
In June 2020, Gethin successfully crowdfunded £16,170 to gather more stories of success by ex offenders who have left prison and gone on to do something great. This will form a series which can be broadcast in prisons, sharing the experiences both good and bad of life outside prison, the barriers that might be met and how to surpass them.
Gethin’s crowdfunding campaign aimed to raise money to deliver a series while celebrating some of what he calls #theHiddenHeroes amongst prison staff who are in his view, the most essential part of the rehabilitation process. With each film set to include both the experience of someone who made a success outside of prison and the prison staff who helped them, they can motivate and engage both parties.
Like many businesses, not all were able to access support grants from the government to deal with the implications of the pandemic. According to Gethin, “I was told by other business owners about crowdfunding and how I may also be able to find match funding. It was something that I’d never done before but I got a lot of help from the team at Crowdfunder and put all their tips into action. My campaign got some quick results and I was able to get match funding from both The Forward Trust and Portsmouth City Council”.
After his crowdfunding campaign, the 10 films he aimed to complete have now been delivered into the prison system. When asked what his plans for the business were, Gethin believed that, “This opportunity has given me the space to look at how to create new content in a technological world and to ensure that my business is financially secure, which is something I am very grateful for”.
If you’re inspired to crowdfund an early stage project which is creating jobs for ex-offenders and people in recovery, start crowdfunding today and access up to £5,000 in +Extra funding from the Forward Enterprise Fund.