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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

prisoners main complaint was that they felt unsafe.”People do not feel supported, they do not have the chance to get out and a lot of people feel trapped.”

GP Andrew Sixsmith says he sees many ex-prisoners. He has only six minutes to speak to patients, who may turn up at the surgery with no food or money. “What can I do?” he says. “I have also had patients wanting to commit suicide at my surgery and I know that I will not get the statutory suicide teams out easily, but I have walked them over to the centre, where somebody there will talk to them and get them into the system.”

Under a new scheme, prisoners rolled out in  Leeds are met at the gates and supported in their reintegration into society. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian The community centre’s groundbreaking collaborative work was recently recognised by the independent trust Power To Change, which awarded it £215,000 for refurbishments. It now functions as a health and wellbeing centre, having doubled in size.

A strong believer in practical solutions, Graham insists that “if you have time to listen to people and to hear about the barriers in their lives you can begin to make a difference”.

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