Why We Do It

Berwyn On Census Life

What drives us forward with our mission is when we see first-hand our colleagues striving to build a better future for themselves on a daily basis. Hearing from them how they value their work is precisely why we do what we do, so when we caught up with some of the guys at HMP Berwyn, we thought we’d share their experiences with you.

"Total game-changers"

Andy Cook, Chief Executive of the Centre for Social Justice, shares his thoughts on how Census are game-changers both for “lives and for the system”. 

Prisons have worked with us
People trained

Over 11 million people in the UK have a previous criminal conviction. We recognised that this represents a huge talent pool of people that our business, and others, can directly benefit from. 

Evidence suggests that having a previous conviction hinders someone’s ability to find work, provide for their family and contribute effectively to the local economy.

The benefits of this are wide reaching, including the strengthening of family ties and a reduction in potential intergenerational offending.

Too many employers are focused on what individuals have done in the past rather than how they can contribute to their businesses moving forward.

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.