A SCHEME to help ex-prisoners in Kirklees is celebrating its first birthday.
The West Yorkshire Community Chaplaincy Project was set up to help people leaving prison to go straight.
The multi-faith scheme offers support with housing, employment and substance misuse prevention to help stop people returning to crime.
More than 150 prisoners got help last year.
Two community chaplains - one Christian and one Muslim - work with people in Kirklees, Leeds and Bradford.
A team of 26 volunteers also mentors and provides one-to-one support.
Claire Dowgill, director of the project, said: "Life in prison is tough enough but for many prisoners it can be even tougher after leaving prison.
"Only a small percentage of ex-prisoners move seamlessly back into a stable, structured domestic environment.
"For most, leaving prison means navigating a bewildering obstacle course to get housing, a job, social security benefits, help with drug or alcohol dependency or help with managing money.
"Many former prisoners are totally ill-equipped, both mentally and emotionally."
MP John Battle will be among the speakers at celebration event at St Anne's Cathedral, Leeds, from 10am to 4pm tomorrow.