Eye-opening Optometry Project gives Offenders Second Chance

The importance of finding positive and effective ways to reduce re-offending cannot be overstated.

Pen Optical in Maidstone, set up in 2015, aims to reduce re-offending by training prisoners how to make prescription spectacles. In the last four years, over 40 prisoners have secured meaningful work with the new skills they have acquired.

Last week, Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and The Weald, attended a tour of their premises and was shown the work they do.

She said, “It was truly inspirational to see the work of this organisation and to hear the positive feedback from the individuals it has benefitted. It is encouraging to see people helped along the road to successful rehabilitation by developing practical skills that will give them a second chance”.

Pen Optical said, "We were delighted to welcome Helen to our training lab and give her an insight into what we do. Her enthusiasm for the Trust and her desire to do her bit to help us was received with profound appreciation. We look forward to welcoming her back here and working with her in the near future to improve prison healthcare and reduce re-offending at the national level."