The year in review: 2022 at Why me?
This year at Why me? we have continued to pave the way for better access to Restorative Justice.
Through our ambassador network, events, policy, and project work we have reached thousands of people to increase awareness of Restorative Justice and make sure that everyone has the option to engage with Restorative Justice.
We would like to thank our network of ambassadors, facilitators, volunteers, and Board of Trustees for your continued support of Why me?. We would also like to thank all of our incredible funders who make it possible to do our important work.
This year, nearly 700 of you attended our 22 events and forums – that’s 118% more people than in 2021!
Our important events included our first-ever conference exploring how to promote equality in Restorative Justice, two stakeholder roundtables for partners on our Articulate and LGBTQ+ projects, two panel conversations for Restorative Justice week on using Restorative Justice for domestic and sexual violence as well as for faith-based hate crime, and two restorative consultations with youth justice practitioners to engage with the Youth Justice Board on policy relating to Key Performance Indicators and racial disparity within the Youth Justice System.
Outside of our own events, we attended and spoke at other events around the world in London, Sassari, Maynooth, Berlin, and more.
This year, we launched three new projects: Improving access to RJ for domestic and sexual violence survivors, the Nurturing the Next Generation Project, and our Economic Evaluation Project.
Through our Youth Justice project, we finished auditing three Youth Justice Services and provided recommendations to improve their delivery of Restorative Justice. We worked across two young offender institutes and various community youth groups to produce a Good Practice Guide for Youth Justice Services, as well as report on Restorative Justice for young people which will be published next year.
Under Project Articulate, we continued to work with a restorative service and migrant community group in Bedford to improve access to Restorative Justice for people who speak English as an additional language.
Through our LGBTQ+ project, we have worked with LGBTQ+ organisations, Youth Justice Services and professionals from other statutory and NGO agencies to both provide and promote the use of Restorative Justice to tackle LGBTQ+ hate crime and incidents.
Policy & Research
A policy priority for Why me? in 2022 was ensuring that access to Restorative Justice was strengthened through the Victims Bill. We held a restorative consultation with our network of partners, ambassadors, and facilitators to develop consultation and evidence responses to the proposed legislation and the pre-legislative scrutiny by the Justice Select Committee, who have subsequently been incredibly supportive of the inclusion of Restorative Justice in this legislation.
We have also worked closely on Out of Court Disposals to ensure the best provisions for Restorative Justice.
We continue to sit on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Restorative Justice as an advisory board member. We were active members of two workstreams in the APPG examining improved funding of Restorative Justice and data and monitoring.
Following Why me?’s successful ‘10 asks’ campaign about Restorative Justice running since the elections in 2021, we established an OPCC Restorative Justice Knowledge Exchange forum which has met twice. This forum connected peer commissioners across England and Wales to share knowledge, understanding, and experience of commissioning Restorative Justice in order to improve the quantity and quality of RJ delivered to victims in each area.
We are happy to have published our full economic model following our Economic Evaluation research which details the financial benefits of Restorative Justice. This model illustrates to stakeholders such as Police and Crime Commissioners and Probation Directors that Restorative Justice is a solid investment that has the power to reduce reoffending and improve victim well-being.
In addition to our fantastic funders, we have raised money through two separate fundraising activities. Firstly, a sponsored team run through Velo Park in April, and secondly, our 95:95 challenge in September.
As a small but ambitious charity, we rely on generous one-off and monthly donations from our supporters. No matter the size, Why me? is grateful for all donations made. Anything you can give to help victims of crime have their voices heard will make a real difference.
Thank you to all of our funders.
This year, we welcomed three new members of staff – our Campaigns and Comunications Manager Meka Beresford, our Fundraising Officer Lucy Harris, and our Consultant Researcher Frank Grimsey Jones. We’re delighted to have had two new Trustees, who will be officially announced next year, join our board.
As the year ends, we bid farewell to our Deputy Director Linda Millington, Fundraising Manager Duncan Shallard-Brown, and former Trustee Lucy Knell-Taylor. Thank you all for your incredible work.
What’s next for 2023?
As Why me? enters 2023, we will continue to focus on powerful communications through podcasts, storytelling, and lived-experience leadership to promote Restorative Justice to existing and new audiences in the UK and globally.
This will place us as the point of contact and information for people affected crime and conflict – with our interactive service provider map, inquiry line, service, and inspiring and informative website empowering people to access Restorative Justice.
We are committed to strengthening access to Restorative Justice for people affected by crime and conflict at international, national, regional, and local levels by working closely with the Restorative Justice Sector, Parliament, Police and Crime Commissioners, and the Prison and Probation Service.
In particular, we plan to vastly improve access to Restorative Justice for victims who report barriers to access – specifically domestic and sexual violence and hate crimes. We will work closely with community and campaign groups to develop beneficial restorative interventions which meet the needs of different cultural and language groups, young people, and people with protected characteristics.
We will pioneer the use of Restorative Justice in specific situations, such as institutional harm, prison estate, alternative education, and in the community.
All of this will be underpinned by our commitment to our lived-experience ambassadors – whose voices we want to centre, as well as our research and development which will continue to build on our vast evidence base – particularly our work on the Economic Evaluation of Restorative Justice, to further improve Restorative Justice application in community, criminal justice, and education.
Thank you all for your ongoing support, we look forward to working with you in 2023!