Creating Future Opportunities

HM Prison and Probation Services (HMPPS) Creating Future Opportunities (CFO) know that people with strong foundations in place to make a success of their lives, are less likely to re-offend.  CFO projects are aimed at addressing barriers via appropriate support mechanisms tailored to individual needs and reducing re-offending. Established in 2002, we have secured over £530m of external funding via the European Social Fund for the Ministry of Justice. 

The current CFO3 and CFO Activity Hub programmes are part-funded by the European Social Fund and supported under the Youth Employment Initiative


The current CFO3 project commenced delivery in July 2015 and will run through to March 2024. 

CFO3 is included as part of the Social Inclusion Thematic Objective for the 2014-2020 ESF Programme, which has a wider focus than employment. 

There are nine regional level contracts across England, with four mainstream services, operating across custody and community, with a particular emphasis on social inclusion.  

HMPPS CFO3 (previously known as Co-Financing Organisation) focuses on those offenders who have difficulty accessing mainstream employability or training services.

CFO Activity Hubs

HMPPS CFO Activity Hubs focuses on a safe space where offenders can engage in activities and access wrap around support, complementing existing provisions. 

There are 21 community-based CFO Activity Hubs across England, with one Veteran Hub at HMP/YOI Holme House. Five providers with emphasis on three broad category areas: 

  • Human/Citizenship
  • Community and Social
  • Interventions and Services

The current CFO Activity Hub project commenced in 2021 and will run to March 2024.

Armed Forces Covenant

In 2016, HMPPS CFO was the recipient of an MoD Covenant Fund Trust (was Grant) fund. The project was called “Network for Ex-Service Personnel” (NESP). As a recap on the NESP project 2016-2018; the original proposal was to work with those Detainees Under Sentence (DUS) at the Military Corrective Training Centre, Colchester and also those in HMPPS CJS who have previously served for the Armed Forces and help support them through the gate with the ultimate goal of finding employment and reduce reoffending rates. 

CFO Evolution

HMPPS CFO has secured funding to continue delivery of services to offenders considered hard to help and furthest away from the mainstream. The CFO Evolution programme will build on the successes of the CFO3 and CFO Activity Hub programmes to create a single delivery programme which will complement existing HMPPS core services and provide resettlement support to individuals in custody and the community. The contract award will be early 2024, with contracts mobilising from May 2024. Throughput and delivery will commence from August 2024, although these dates may be subject to change.

Everyone was treated equal, staff didn’t wear their name badges, so it was not obvious to identify who were staff or who were service users, and despite this, everyone respected each other and had fun. It built a good bridge between various partnering organisations.

I’ve built friendships through the project and more open as a person as well as learning ground working and joinery skills. Even having to be on time and having the structure helps too.

The peer mentor scheme has changed my perspective on support; I’ve never had so much support and feel like I have more of a sense of purpose and responsibility.

It’s been a life changing experience since my release from prison. My main worry was trying to find something to do to fill my time, and avoid going back to old habits. The other main worry for me was that I would struggle with work since my release. But again, the hub put my worries to rest.

CFO Activity Hub Participant

Having frequent sessions with you has improved my motivation to go into employment. I am thankful that we are able to access training and have CM help with employment support. I feel lucky to have access to this.

Without your support I would not have the confidence to have been able to apply for a job. Before engaging with you my offence gave me severe anxiety and the thought of disclosing to a potential employer terrified me. With your help I have been able to disclose to two different employers and have been able to land myself a well-paid job with a reputable company.

CFO3 Participant

I couldn’t have done what I’ve done without all your help and support it really does mean a lot. It’s nice to have someone there to help encourage you along the way – it makes such a difference.

A year ago I never thought I would have managed to do it. I thought I was never going yo be able to pull myself our of the rut I was in but with you I can now see a positive future.

I really didn’t know what to do or where to turn and you put me on track and have me focus, even being at my side through court proceedings and hearings, You are amazing and I really appreciate everything you have done for me.

I really wasn’t expecting to be able to get funding, so it means the world you have managed to sort that out for me so a huge thank you to you personally and your team.

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