About us

Why me? are a national charity delivering and promoting Restorative Justice for everyone affected by crime and conflict. Many victims of crime feel sidelined by the criminal justice process. Restorative Justice gives them the chance to ask questions about the incident, explain the impact that it had on them, and have a say in how the harm can be repaired. This restorative dialogue transforms lives by helping people affected by crime to recover, and helping people who commit crime to stop. 

Our Story

Why me? began with a crime.

Will Riley, an Islington business man, was burgled by Peter Woolf. Peter assaulted Will in his house, and was arrested while trying to escape. The video below tells their remarkable story.

Will met Peter in Pentonville prison through Restorative Justice. He was angry. The crime had affected him greatly, making him afraid every time he opened his front door. Following his meeting with Peter, he felt like he better understood what had happened and why. He was glad to have explained how much harm Peter had done to him, not allowed him to duck responsibility, and directed him towards a better path.

Having previously committed, by his own reckoning, over 20,000 crimes, Peter never offended again after meeting Will. Seeing the damage he had done encouraged Peter to change his life. Peter has continued living on this better path ever since. 

Will set up Why me? with Peter’s help, to fight for more people to have the opportunity to access Restorative Justice. It changed their lives, and they want to see it change many more people’s lives in the future.

They remain good friends, and continue to campaign for wider access to Restorative Justice.

Peter Woolf has written a book about his life and experience of Restorative Justice, if you are interested in purchasing a copy, get in touch via info@why-me.org

Our work

Our work aims to increase access to Restorative Justice for people affected by crime and conflict in England and Wales. We do this by celebrating good practice, highlighting gaps, doing our own research and through working with practitioners and decision makers. 

Findings from our work, and wider evidence about the benefits of Restorative Justice, can be found in our library.

We work with police, probation services, restorative providers, community groups and others to improve understanding and access to Restorative Justice. We also lobby the Government to make policy changes which will unlock this opportunity for more people affected by crime. 

All victims of crime are entitled to information about Restorative Justice under the Victims’ Code of Practice. But only 5% of victims with a known offender recall being given this information. This needs to change. We would like to see Restorative Justice used increasingly in Out of Court Disposals and Youth Referral Orders, as they offer opportunities to avoid lengthy and sometimes traumatising court processes, and give people a chance to make amends following a crime. And we want Restorative Justice to be an option which everyone affected by crime has the opportunity to consider for themselves. This would improve the experience of people affected by crime in the UK, and benefit the Criminal Justice System.

Our service

We run our own registered Restorative Justice service. Our trained and experienced facilitators work with both parties to help them access the form of Restorative Justice which is best suited to them – whether this is a face to face meeting or indirect communication. Restorative Justice only goes ahead with both informed consent from the person who was harmed and the perpetrator.

Are you a journalist interested in Restorative Justice? Read our guidance for media professionals interested in Restorative Justice.


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You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter to keep up to date with the latest news, opportunities, events and reports from Why me?.

Read our latest blogs to see what we have been doing recently at Why me?.


Join us

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We currently have no upcoming vacancies, subscribe to our weekly newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming opportunities. 


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The best way to get in touch is to send us an email at info@why-me.org.

The inbox is monitored daily and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. 

 


Why me?’s Patrons

Mel Giedroyc

Mel Giedroyc headshot

Why me? is proud to have Mel Giedroyc as our patron.  Mel is a well-known actress, comedian and television presenter who has presented popular TV shows like the Great British Bake Off and Eurovision 2023. 

In 2015, Mel presented a BBC documentary called ‘The Gift’, with stories of individuals saying ‘sorry’ to people they’ve harmed. Why me? reached out to Mel, and she was incredibly enthusiastic about Restorative Justice. She has now been involved in Why me?’s work for 7 years, including speaking at our events, undertaking Restorative Justice practitioner training, and presenting our BBC Radio 4 Charity Appeal. 

“I’ve been very inspired by the work of Why me?. I think Restorative Justice is the way forward for reducing crime rates, but also giving victims of crime that healing experience and closure that they so often desperately need.”  Mel Giedroyc

Gillian Slovo

 

Headshot of Chair of Trustees Gillian Slovo

Gillian Slovo is a South African born writer and playwright who came to England as a child. She has published fifteen books including Every Secret Thing, her best-selling family memoir; her novel Ice Road which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and her novel Red Dust which was  about South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and which won the French Temoin du Monde prize and was made into a film. Gillian has also had produced four verbatim plays, the last of which, Another World, was on at the National Theatre. She is currently working on a play about the Grenfell Tower fire for the National. She was a trustee on the board of the writers organization, English PEN, for four years before becoming President of English PEN, a post she held between 2010 and 2013. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. 

Gillian came to appreciate Restorative Justice following her own experiences through South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. While she had serious concerns with the approach taken in South Africa, it helped her to appreciate the importance of victims of crime getting an understanding of why they were harmed, directly from the person who had done it. She is motivated to use her position at Why me? to help change the manner in which our society and our justice system deals with victims, and brings perpetrators to understand the harm that they have caused.

 

Meet the team

Why me? have a small but growing team of staff. All of us are committed to fighting for victims’ ability to access Restorative Justice. Read more about our roles and backgrounds.

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Why me? team

Trustees

Why me? have a dedicated team of trustees who work with the staff to help give more victims access to Restorative Justice. Our team includes people with experience in policing, probation, third sector governance, and the criminal justice sector.

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Lucy Jaffe speaking at a conference

© 2024 Why me? Charity no. 1137123. Company no. 6992709.