On this page we describe what underpins our Mission.

We know the impact that we want to make and what needs to precede this; namely the long-term outcomes and prior to these the medium and shorter-term outcomes.

We are clear about how our three outputs, our Financial Awards, Award Ceremonies and Directory can set people off on pathways to change.

With the help of NVCO Charities Evaluation Service we continue to review our monitoring and evaluation framework and refine the tools that we are using to gather the data we need to show that what we do and how we do it enables our interventions, alongside the interventions of others, to achieve our Mission. We have created an outcomes and indicators table to show what data is collected, how often and by whom, what change the data is measuring and who it needs to be reported to. We present both statistical and anecdotal evidence.

Below you will see our Theory of Change Map which provides a visual description of our routes to change, namely our outputs, outcomes and impact, and we have set beside the map a definition of these terms.

If you are interested in reading a fuller explanation of how what we do and the way we do it enables us to achieve our mission please see ‘Our Story’.

We also present on this page the questionnaires we are currently using to elicit feedback, followed by a small sample of the results.

Following the sample of results, those with an academic interest in our work will find a link to a piece of commissioned research that investigates the motivations, experiences and outcomes of Hardman award applicants.

We conclude this section with a few lines on our commitment to reporting our results to our donors and to our other supporters.

Theory of Change Map

The following terms are used on the accompanying map:

  • Impact is the broad or longer-term effects of a project or organisation’s work that happen after outcomes have occurred. Projects or programmes often contribute to impact, as it is generally a combination of other events or interventions that can help bring about this long-term change.
  • Outcomes are the changes, benefits, learning or other effects that happen as a result of a project or organisation’s work (its outputs). Intermediate outcomes need to happen before the more significant long-term outcomes can be achieved.
  • Outputs are the products, services or facilities that result from an organisation’s or project’s activities. They are the things it delivers in order to bring about change.


Our Story

The Hardman Trust runs two projects:  The Award Scheme (providing funding and encouragement) and The Directory (providing information). It delivers them in the way it does because the Trust believes that in doing so its interventions (alongside the interventions of other organisations), result in more people who have served prison sentences able to make a positive contribution to society.

The longerterm outcomes that precede this impact are:

  • Greater domestic and financial stability
  • More prisoners and ex-prisoners feel empowered to take back control of their affairs

Our outcomes and impact are captured in the theory of change map that accompanies this narrative.

Through our award scheme we help people who have been in prison a long time to get their lives back on track when released.

More information on what we provide and how our award scheme works can be found here.

The Trust also publishes and distributes a practical guide known as The Hardman Directory to give prisoners and those recently released free access to accurate information on supplementary funding and other forms of financial support that may be available to them.

The Hardman Awards

Each year approximately 4,000 men and women serving long sentences (over seven years) are released from prisons across the UK.

The reoffending rate for long-sentence prisoners is low compared with shorter-sentence prisoners, e.g. 2.2% for mandatory life sentenced prisoners and 4.8% for those serving other life sentences as compared to 46.9% of the general prison population. However, people who have been in prison for a long time are likely to experience considerable challenges as they prepare to re-establish themselves within their local or new community. These challenges include: overcoming societal stigma, finding the finances to make an effective resettlement, and developing a positive sense of personal-worth.

The Hardman Trust believes that people who have served long prison sentences need extra support in their efforts to prepare for a settled, productive and fulfilling crime-free life back in the community, not just for their own sake but for the sake of their families and their home communities.

The main focus of the many prison charities that work with those who serve shorter sentences is on reducing recidivism (the likelihood of the convicted person to re-offend). The Hardman Award specifically focusses on prisoners in the latter stages of a long sentence who are unlikely to return to prison. Our aim is to help them prepare, after so many years, for the exceptionally difficult transition to life outside prison and to be beacons of hope for other men and women serving prison sentences.

Towards the end of their long sentence, prisoners are invited to apply for the Hardman financial award. As part of this process prisoners have to show achievement and that they have solid plans for the future. Further, they must have demonstrated ‘inside’ over months, possibly years, a good character and a positive attitude. We believe that as prisoners are guided through the application process completing a form and attending a one-to-one interview with a Hardman Trust Assessor they gain increased hope and a greater focus on the new future path for their life outside prison

Those who receive the Award are invited to an Award Ceremony. This offers them an opportunity to feel an increased sense of social connectedness and increased self-confidence, especially if they give a presentation at the Award Ceremony. Those who attend the Award Ceremony or who meet or read about Hardman Award winners will hopefully be inspired and they will have an improved perception of prisoners as positive contributors to society. In the longer term this means that more prisoners and ex-prisoners will feel empowered to take control of their affairs.

The Hardman Directory

The reoffending rate for adults released from custody is around 47%. Research shows that desistance, i.e. ceasing to commit crime, is affected by several factors including:

  • maturity, i.e. age of the individual (from their mid-twenties)
  • domestic and financial stability
  • a shift in a sense of identity towards more positive self-belief and a shift in a sense of empowerment such that the person believes they can change and improve their circumstances.

Anyone serving a prison sentence can access the Hardman Directory. It provides information about sources of funding and financial support and about prospects for employment, education and training. As a result of using the Directory it is hoped that prisoners gain increased awareness of funding and other opportunities. If they pursue these sources and prospects and secure, for example, a financial award from the Trust it is expected that prisoners will take up more opportunities for personal development, increase their capabilities, i.e., their skills and abilities, and gain qualifications where relevant. It is likely then that more opportunities for employment, self-employment, education and training will be open to prisoners and they will gain steady employment, or self-employment or take up other purposeful activity. The effect of being in employment or other gainful activity will mean people leaving prison will have greater financial independence and, ultimately, greater domestic and financial stability.

Feedback and Results

We send a feedback form to all our award winners on the 1st anniversary of their award and we are receiving an excellent  return. We send Directory feedback forms into all prison libraries and we also post them with a stamped addressed return envelope to prisoners, ex-prisoners and staff who request a personal copy of the Directory.  The data from each of our questionnaires is entered onto survey monkey and analysed. You will see a sample of the results shown in graph form below.

If you are an award winner now released or a Directory user with access to a smartphone, tablet or personal computer, you can complete a feedback form by visiting the Awards and Directory pages on this website.

Awards Scheme Results

The graph below shows our success in achieving our ‘Access more training and education’ and ‘Gain voluntary or paid employment’ outcomes, in relation to April 2016 award winners.

Directory Results

By way of example, the following graph shows our success in our ‘increased awareness of funding’ outcome.

Commissioned Research

This study focuses on the experience of the grant application process and award ceremony alongside the benefits, both short and long term, of attaining a Hardman Trust award.

Fourteen interviews were undertaken with past award winners.

The award system focused on the achievements of the individual and their future potential. Interviewees felt that the process was a cathartic experience, where they were listened to and positively encouraged.

At the award ceremony, the applicants were already presenting themselves in a different way from before they had contact with the Trust and this new found belief endorsement was often used at Parole Hearings as evidence of their turnaround.

In conclusion

We send our donors and supporters at the end of each year a report showing particular outcomes achieved and a summary of the impact of our work, as we recognise the importance of demonstrating that the money and the time generously donated does result in more people who have served prison sentences able to make a positive contribution to society.

Registered Charity No. 1042715  I  Telephone: 01983 550355  I  Email: [email protected]

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