Barlinnie scores with Celtic Foundation partnership

Individuals in custody at HMP Barlinnie are benefiting from a new partnership with the Celtic FC Foundation.

The Foundation, a registered charity, aims to help people living in poverty through a range of initiatives targeting employability, social inclusion, and education.

Jim Millar, Physical Training Instructor (PTI) at HMP Barlinnie, first organised a fundraiser for the charity two years ago, to support food banks near the establishment, in the east end of the city.Celtic Foundation group edited

The relationship grew from there and now delivers bespoke five-week courses for individuals in custody.

Each session starts with some time in the ‘classroom’ covering topics such as mental health awareness, nutritional advice, and even a fully certified CPR lesson. Then afterwards, the Celtic FC coaches run an hour-long session of physical activity.

The relationships that have been established have been hugely positive and the benefits have extended far beyond the five-week course.

The Foundation staff have invited those in our care, when they are liberated, to attend the Paradise Pit Stop project at the Celtic stadium, where they can receive a free warm evening meal. They have also extended this invite to the families of those in our care to attend, while their loved one is still in custody.

Individuals can also be provided with funds from the Foundation to set up a small business once released. The success of this has already been realised with an individual who engaged with the Foundation during his sentence being given a grant to set up a landscaping business. The business then went on to offer employment to a further two individuals recently liberated from Barlinnie.

Jim and the staff from the Foundation have started delivering the second course, with a third scheduled for the New Year.

Jim said: “Overall the partnership is hugely positive with many of the guys saying it’s the best course they’ve ever been involved with. With the support of the Foundation staff, I’ve no doubt we’ll be expanding the course and lessons going forward into 2024 and beyond.”