What We Do

Through the effective delivery of our in-custody work programme, our colleagues develop relevant skills and experience that will be highly valued by any employer.

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We foster a workplace where employees have equal access to ongoing support, as well as progression opportunities to create a better future for themselves.

Tried & Tested

Over 7,000 people in prison have completed our programmes and we have provided thousands of job references upon release. We have directly employed over 300 people as home workers and at our head office in that period.

Community Reintegration

The key to our success is providing people in custody with an authentic work environment with a guaranteed offer of employment on release.

Creating Opportunities

Census Life are one of the largest employers of people in prisons across England and Wales. We have grown to currently employ circa 250 men and women across 11 prisons every day.

Leading By Example

We lead by example with over 90% of our employees having a previous criminal conviction and we are uniquely positioned to highlight the benefits to other businesses.

Facilitating Connections

We partner with other organisations and businesses who have a similar ethos to our own, to open up opportunities for our team prior to their release.

Setting The Scene

Duncan O’Leary of the New Futures Network (NFN) explains how Census Life fit into the wider landscape of rehabilitation and reintegration.

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Trusted In The Sector

Richard rowley

Richard Rowley is the Managing Director at Census Life and is responsible for all criminal justice work the social enterprise undertakes. 

Richard has over 20 years’ experience of working with voluntary, public and private sector organisations in the criminal justice arena and still retains the same desire to support people to become the very best they can be. 

Richard is also very proud to be a Trustee for POPS (Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group) in Manchester. 

On the off-chance he is away from work, you’ll find Richard watching football, cooking and spending time with his family – not necessarily in that order!

Kelly Carrel

Kelly Carrel is the Chief Executive of Census Life and is responsible for leading the strategic direction and overall effectiveness of the organisation.

 Kelly has over 20 years’ experience of working within the Customer Management sector and, over the past 7 years, has used this experience to provide meaningful work experience and relevant training to those farthest from the job market.

Most specifically Kelly is focussed on individuals serving custodial sentences, and working with them during this period to ensure they have opportunities for employment on release. Passionate about pursuing social mobility, through the route of employment, this is the key driver of the work for Kelly and her team.

Outside of the office, Kelly enjoys travelling, martial arts & air acrobatics along with spending time with friends and family.

The Census story

Census Group was founded in 2013 by Ian and Kelly Carrel, following their respective careers working in large scale in-house and outsourced contact centre operations both in the UK and overseas.

In 2010 Criminal Record Bureau (now DBS) background checking was becoming ever more prevalent, regardless of whether the role required it. The founders recognised there was an urgent need to address the issues highlighted by this process, as more contact centre agents were losing roles across the industry with a ‘blanket’ approach being applied to every adverse CRB check. This experience in contact centre environments highlighted a significant frustration – having to let well-trained, enthusiastic staff go when their checks returned showing previous criminal convictions. With attrition rates in the industry reaching levels of >25% we knew we could develop an incredibly competent workforce that would also have a wider impact on society

Through our corporate social responsibility strategy we have consistently reinvested profits, to go the extra mile and support colleagues as they leave prison and reintegrate back into our communities. To make this much more fundamental to our work we have developed Census Life, our not-for-profit social enterprise.