Ex-offenders & Social Pantry

It’s fair to say that Social Pantry is a renowned ex-offender employer and this year we’re working with the Ministry of Justice to encourage other businesses, large and small to make the leap.

We thought it was time we shed some light on the who, what, where and why…



We are a very proud to work with 3 charity partners, all sharing the common goal of reintegration and rehabilitation. Switchback is our newest partner offering intensive rehabilitation and practical support to those on a difficult route away from crime. We also work very closely with Novus. Novus mentors work with trainees whilst they are still in custody and are great at recognising promising individuals months before release. Key4Life are our longest standing partner and have been instrumental in the success of our annual ‘Social Supper.’

To accelerate a trainee’s learning and enhance their time with us, we put together a work schedule, involving teams across our entire business. This way, our trainees can gain exposure to most, if not all, aspects of what we do and, most importantly, gain new skills.

On week 3, we sit down with our trainees, agree and record their ‘SP3’…3 clear goals to work towards during the first 3 months with us. It could be something as simple as 100% attendance or learning 2 recipes to recreate at home; it’s a great way to add focus to the programme and measure progress, after all… ‘what gets measured gets done.’

Some trainees will spread their wings after 3 months and others will join the company on a permanent basis. One of our Key4Life trainees has now been with us for over 3 years. In our experience, ex-offenders are amongst the most tenacious and energetic employees. They also bring a new perspective that inspires the wider team which is really important because our employees have the potential to be ex-offender employers themselves one day.

To watch Alex Head interviewed on London Live talking ex-offenders and her involvement with the various charities we work with, watch the full interview here. Alex Head was also nominated by The Independent for this years’s Happy List 2018.