Research underpins Key4Life's programme. We commission independent research among our participants, their families, mentors, prison officers, and businesses involved in the programme. 
In particular, thepeoplepartnership conduct research at the beginning, middle, and end of the programme assessing how participants' attitudes and behaviours change, and use NOMS criteria to track changes. 

Overall Numbers: 

  • 116 young men have been through the Key4Life programme to date - HMP/YOI Ashfield, HMP/YOI Isis, HMP/YOI Portland, HMP Wormwood Scrubs and Somerset 'At Risk' 
  • 74 young men completed the programme in 2016
  • On target to deliver to 150 young men in 2017, including a new 'At Risk' programme in London and a further programme at HMP/YOI Portland is underway
  • 160 volunteer mentors have been trained and provided support to our young men
  • 50+ businesses have been involved providing Work Tasters, CV preparation, advice and employment

In need of help: 

The young men Key4Life currently work with have multiple issues: 


  • 75% left mainstream education before 16 (compared to 41% nationally)
  • 64% did not have regular contact with their fathers when growing up
  • 28% have been in care (compared to 33% nationally)
  • 25% have been diagnosed with mental health issues (compared to 23% nationally)
  • 36% have permanent accommodation to return to (compared to 88% nationally)

Key4Life is helping by:

  • Providing a bridge between prison and outside
  • Building trust
  • Finding jobs so that the young offenders are not left to go back to old habits and lifestyles
  • Including the young offender's family in any plan
  • Taking them out of their gangs and helping them focus on their own lives
  • Communicating in a way that they can respond to through music, the arts, nature and animals


  • Independent research conducted on behalf of Key4Life among every participant shows that the young men's ability to deal with emotions and their positive attitudes towards work both double during the course of the programme.
  • 81% have completed Work Tasters through Key4Life.
  • 79% of our participants are in employment or training at the end of the Key4Life programme, with 63% in sustained employment.
  • 16% of those who have been through the Key4Life programme have re-offended, compared to a national proven re-offending rate of 74%.


Andy Parker, Managing Director, YHC Hire Solutions

“Working with Key4Life has diversified my workforce and benefited both my company and the development of my staff.”


Curtis, Key4Life Participant

“My Work Taster led to a full-time job at YHC Hire Solutions and I am still in the job one year on - it is truly life-changing.”