The team at First Point Training show their support for prison staff, prisoners and their families during this difficult and challenging time.

We are thinking of you all!

#jailhouserock   #lockdownversion   #socialdistancedance   #keyworkers   #forstaff   #forprisoners   #support   #makingadifference

New Member!

We are delighted to have joined as a member of the North East chamber of Commerce.

We are looking forward to meeting and networking with fellow members at upcoming meetings and events!

Staff Awareness & Development Day 

We were delighted to welcome the full team to the Royal County Marriott Hotel in Durham on 28th February for our Staff Awareness & Development Day.

An excellent opportunity to give the full team an update on the business and gain feedback from all staff from all areas and departments.


We are delighted to announce that we have secured a contract from the Ministry of Justice to deliver a programme in HMYOI Deerbolt, focusing on breaking the cycle of gang culture.

Goodbye to our friend

It is with much sadness and shock to let people know that we have lost our friend and colleague John Traynor.

John was a lovely man, and was a valued member of our staff and we will miss him very much.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family especially his children at this awful time.

RIP John.

Mandy English-Jones
On behalf of First Point Training


October 2019

Missing a few but we took the opportunity before work starts in the prisons next week to get a group photo.

Exciting times ahead for First Point!

Countdown to new contract!

On 1st October 2019 our contract from the Ministry of Justice to deliver Engagement Services in 4 male prisons across the North East Region goes live!

Today is the second day of our team induction and training sessions.

We are delighted to welcome the new members of our team and we can’t wait to get started to help engage and motivate people in our North East prisons.

“The greatest success we’ll know is helping others succeed and grow”


We are delighted to announce that we have secured a contract from the Ministry of Justice to deliver Engagement Services in 4 male prisons across the North East Region!

Award Winning!

On Thursday 4th July 2019 the First Point Team attended the Durham County Council’s Adult Learning & Skills Service ‘Festival of Learning Awards’.

We put forward nominations in 5 of the categories and we are delighted to announce that out of the 5 nominations we had 3 winners!

Huge congratulations to our 3 learners Imogen Stanley who won Outstanding Apprentice of the Year, Suzette Ross who won Volunteer of the Year and Ellen Cox who received Highly Commended for Inspirational Learner of the Year.

We are so incredibly proud of you, you inspire us and others everyday – HUGE Congratulations!

New Offices!

From Monday 17th June First Point Training Ltd will be based at new offices in Framwellgate Moor.

We will no longer be operating from The Crossgate Centre.

Our phone number and email address will remain the same.

New Contract!

We are delighted to announce that we have won a new contract with Durham County Council DurhamWorks to engage and support young people who might have additional needs.

We really enjoyed meeting the DurhamWorks team and we are looking forward to continuing our work following on from our previous successful DurhamWorks contract.

The David Donnelly Achievement Award

We are delighted to launch the David Donnelly Achievement Award in memory of our friend and colleague David Donnelly who passed away on 24th May 2018.

This special achievement award will be presented each year to a deserving learner in recognition of their hard work and progression on their learning journey with us.

We look forward to presenting the award to our first learner to recognise their fantastic achievement while also honouring a lovely man who we all miss.

Durham Works!

We are delighted to confirm that we have been accepted onto the framework for DurhamWorks part of Durham County Council.

We hope to recommence work with Durham Works and the young people aged 16 – 24 who are not in Education, Employment or Training, after our previous successful contract finished last year.

We plan to offer a range of activities for young people in County Durham to participate in with a view to successfully moving them into Education, Employment and Training.

Filming with First Point Training Directors

The team from ALPHA – The Ultimate Male Guide popped paid us a visit in March to interview our Directors Gary and Ross on film for their website!

The students from Teesside University have a news and media website and cover stories about inspirational males who live and work in the North East of England.

Our Managing Director Mandy was also on hand to chat to the Alpha team about First Point Training Ltd and Positive Directions N.E. (CIC) aswell as Elizabus – The Great British Bus – exciting times ahead!

Guest Speakers

Our Directors Gary and Ross were guest speakers at Sunderland University, as part of a second year module – ‘The Family & Community – Contextualizing children’s position within society.’

Fresh from their appearance on Channel 4’s PRISON Gary and Ross spoke to students about First Point Training Ltd and Positive Directions N.E. – CIC, aswell as Elizabus – The Great British Bus and our work in prisons and the community.

Huge thanks to all those who attended and watched our presentation, it was great to be a part of it!

Listen HERE to Ross & Gary on BBC Radio Newcastle during their visit to the university.

PRISON and Positive Impact

The final episode of Channel 4’s three part documentary PRISON aired on Monday 14th January at 9pm.

We designed a bespoke ‘Positive Impact’ programme to meet the needs of those who have been remanded to prison at HMP Durham and have been delivering the programme for over 18 months.  Our First Point Mentors Ross and Gary were featured in the film at work behind the walls of HMP Durham.

Click here to watch the clip.

We are very proud of our programme in the prison and we are delighted to have received such fantastic feedback since the show aired.  We look forward to continuing to try and make a difference to those we meet in the training room and to support them to make a positive change in their lives.

Happy New Year!

It is a Happy New Year indeed for the First Point family as we welcome Julia and Georgia, the newest members of the team, in January 2019.

After 18 years working for Her Majesty’s Passport Office Julia joins us to offer HR and finance support.  Julia has worked in an office environment for over 35 years and covered several many different roles including HR and accounting.  It is set to be a busy 2019 for the team with new contracts and bids so we are delighted to have Julia here to help the company progress.

Georgia joins us with plenty of experience.  She has worked as a Specialist Education Mentor at Durham University, supporting students with mental health issues and disabilities to achieve their own personal and academic goals.  She has also worked in a number of education settings, such as HMP Durham and an independent specialist school for those with special educational needs.

UPDATE! – We are also delighted to confirm that we have offered Imogen a part time role as Office and Admin Support following her work experience with us!

New prison team

After introducing and delivering our bespoke Positive Impact programme for 18 months in HMP Durham, Ross and Gary have now passed the baton to our new prison team Neil and Elaine.

Neil joined First Point in January 2018 to work as a mentor on the Positive Impact Programme, he is very passionate about helping others who experience problems such as low level mental health, substance misuse and poor education.  Elaine joined the team in April of the same year and brings a great deal of experience having worked as a Family Inclusion Co-ordinator for 11 years helping to support families of substance misusers, many of whom were disadvantaged and isolated.  We are delighted to have both Neil and Elaine as part of the team and continuing the delivery of the programme within HMP Durham.

Ross and Gary will be introducing and delivering another of our bespoke programmes in HMYOI Deerbolt later this month.  We are looking forward to offering support and guidance to help the young men make a positive change in their lives.

New Team Member

A big welcome to Beverley Crooks our newest team member!

Bev will be working as an Activities Co-ordinator ‘on board’ our Great British Bus and helping co-ordinate our community events and activities across County Durham.

Bev is looking forward to being out in the community and meeting all of you and we are delighted to have her on the team!


We designed a bespoke programme to meet the needs of those who have been remanded to prison at HMP Durham.
Our team have been delivering our ‘Positive Impact’ programme for the past year as part of the induction process upon entering the prison. We are very proud that over 5000 individuals have now been through the programme.

Channel 4 have filmed a 3 part documentary to give a glimpse of life behind the walls of HMP Durham.
Episode 1 of ‘PRISON’ airs on Thursday 19th July at 9pm.

Our Positive Impact mentors feature in the 3rd part of the documentary due to air in early 2019. Don’t forget to tune in!

New Starter

A warm welcome to the lovely Imogen who has joined the team to do some work experience with us for the next month.
We have a busy few months ahead and we are so pleased she has joined us!

Award Winners!

We had a fantastic evening at the Adult Learning & Skills Service FESTIVAL OF LEARNING AWARDS 2018 at Ramside Hall!

We are delighted to confirm that we won the following awards on the night:
Learning Project of the Year – HIGHLY COMMENDED!
Volunteer of the Year – WINNER!
Inspirational Tutor Award – WINNER!
Inspirational Learner of the Year – HIGHLY COMMENDED!

We are so incredibly proud of our amazing learners and tutors! So well deserved! Congratulations!

Highly Commended!!

Huge Congratulations to our learner Lewis Donnelly who has won Highly Commended in the Achieving Through Work Award at the DurhamWorks Achievement Awards 2018!!!

Congratulations Lewis!!


We have been proudly working with Durham County Council and alongside delivery partners and other subcontractors on the DurhamWorks contract. Take a peek at our video from the Durham Works website!

We are so proud to confirm that we have supported over 40 learners through our ON THE ROAD programme, with over 18 positive progressions into work experience, further training or employment.

We have been inspired by the personal journeys they have been on and the progress and developments they have made over the course of the programme. Well done everyone!

New Starters

We are pleased to welcome Amanda Rose as Contract Manager (left) and Kelly Mennear as Contract Compliance Manager (right) to the First Point Training team, pictured with Managing Director Mandy English-Jones.

Amanda will be one of our lead tutors, delivering on our community learning project, Positive4People and our Youth Employment Initiative, Durham Works. Amanda is joining us from working in HMP Durham and will add a wealth of experience and skills to the team.

Kelly will be responsible for compliance and overseeing the paperwork for all contracts and managing the First Point Training office.