News: Ex-offenders charity founded by a Churchill Fellow is shortlisted for Charity of the Year

Published: 4 Oct 2019

News: Ex-offenders charity founded by a Churchill Fellow is shortlisted for Charity of the Year

Switchback, a charity founded by Churchill Fellow Alice Dawnay, was shortlisted for Charity of the Year (income less than £1 million) at the Charity Times Awards 2019.

Switchback was founded in 2008 and offers job training to young men coming out of prison, so that they can make a fresh start and avoid reoffending. Alice says: “My Churchill Fellowship gave me the courage, through evidence, to believe that setting up something small and powerful could make a big difference." 

Trainees aged 18-24 are matched with mentors who motivate and encourage them to build stability in each area of their lives. Job training in catering is used as a vehicle for rejoining mainstream society, with the aim that trainees then move on and settle into work or education in any field. 

Alice, its founder and CEO, was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2005. She travelled to New York and San Francisco to explore alternatives to custody for young people. She visited deprived neighbourhoods, prisons, supreme courts, police stations, juvenile detention halls, high schools and a judge’s chambers. Her research trip led her to found the charity on her return, with co-founder Slaney Wright. 

The winner of the award on 2 October was upReach, a social mobility charity. 

Read more about Alice’s Fellowship and how it led to Switchback