A charity which helps mentor young offenders has received a £7,500 donation from The Shanly Foundation.

Trailblazers are an independent organisation who undertake vital work with young offenders aged between 18 and 25 years old at the YOI Trinity Resettlement wing in HMP Wandsworth.

The organisation, who also have projects in Aylesbury, Brinsford and Isis prisons, work to reduce the revolving door system of young people who reoffend.

Celebrating its 20th year, Trailblazers has a small team of five employees who work within the prison system to mentor young men to positively change their lives.

The mentors aim to improve the self-awareness, attitude and behaviour of the offenders, beginning work in the three- four months before their scheduled release and continue for up to 12 months post release.

The weekly, hour-long mentoring sessions help to build up trust with the young people. This relationship hugely reduces their risk of reoffending and in 2016, the reoffending rate of offenders that Trailblazers worked with was just 15% compared to the national average of 56%.

John Shepherd, CEO of Trailblazers Mentoring, said: “We were delighted to receive a donation of £7,500 from The Shanly Foundation to help support the vital work we do. Trailblazers has been mentoring young men in custody for twenty years and we are indebted to the support from a wide range of grant giving charities and foundations.

“For our work to be recognised by The Shanly Foundation means a great deal to us and this money will help to ensure that we can continue to make positive contributions to the lives of young men leaving custody, and to help set them on a life path free from crime”.

Mr Shepherd has appeared alongside mentor John Owen on BBC One’s Victoria Derbyshire Show to promote the charity and increase the awareness of the need for both donations and volunteers.

Tamra Booth, trustee of The Shanly Foundation said: “We are pleased to be able support the vital work that Trailblazers carry out. We hope this donation makes a difference to not only the individuals in need of the support but the wider community in which they live.”