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Revolving Doors marks 30 years with House of Lords reception

Revolving Doors at 30

Last week, Revolving Doors marked our 30th anniversary with a reception in the House of Lords, kindly sponsored by Lord Keith Bradley. 

The reception was the first of our anniversary events, with planning underway for a lived experience-led celebration in early 2024 focusing on our members past and present, allowing them to reflect on the meaning of 30 years of Revolving Doors, and to plan their vision for our future. 

We were pleased to welcome over 50 members, staff and guests to the reception, drawing together attendees from a huge range of backgrounds and organisations. This included supporters from across the political spectrum; partners from the criminal justice system and third sector; and our Board of Trustees. 

Speeches were made by Lord Bradley and our Chair of Trustees, Sarah Payne. Sarah reflected on our founding vision to shift the paradigm for those with mental health issues away from the criminal justice system and towards support and rehabilitation, but also upon the challenges we continue to face and the role of our members in leading the way to a better future, saying:  

“(…) Tonight, as we look back on three decades of Revolving Doors, let us also look ahead. This 30th anniversary is about envisioning a future where our work is no longer needed – a future where every individual receives the support and care they deserve, free from the cycle of crisis and crime. 

So, let us celebrate, not the years behind us, but the potential ahead. Let us honor not just the progress made, but the progress still to come. Together, with your support, with the unwavering spirit of those who have lived these experiences, we will continue to push forward. Our journey continues, driven by the belief that a fairer, more just society is not only possible but within our reach.” 

The most powerful of all the contributions at the reception were those from our members. With many in attendance, fellow guests were able to hear first-hand about the ways in which our lived experience members work hard to inspire, advise, and help break the cycle of crisis and crime. 

Three of our members Caroline, De’ Quon, and David joined Sarah and Lord Bradley with their own speeches to reception attendees.  

Drawing on their personal experiences of the criminal justice system and of working with Revolving Doors, they shone a light on the real-life impact of programmes and initiatives such as Mental Health Treatment Requirements (MHTRs) and Liaison and Diversion in ending the revolving door of repeat offending, with David calling for future action to tackle the school to prison pipeline. 

Caroline says: 

“I was very proud to be celebrating the work of Revolving Doors and to share the achievements I’ve made along my recovery journey. It was an amazing experience and I really felt valued as an individual, despite my past experiences.” 

David says: 

“I’m sure I woke up an inch taller the morning after. Given the circumstances and location it was one of the best days of my life.” 

De’ Qeon says: 

“It was a night to remember, to celebrate and represent a great organisation like Revolving Doors who give me the platform to be able to make changes to the system for the better. Revolving Doors is groundbreaking and is a leading organisation on frontline of justice reform. Thank God that they are doing the work they are!”