The Hardman Trust

The Hardman Trust

At a glance


  • Criminal justice
  • Education
  • Financial inclusion
  • Poverty relief

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - England


The Hardman Trust helps people who have been in prison for a long time to get their lives back on track when released. What we do is very simple and very effective.

We provide an award of up to £900, known as a Hardman Award, to help people achieve specific goals on release. We give the award at a ceremony, where, maybe for the first time in their lives, people can feel like winners. We help them believe in themselves. 

The results are transformational. 

People who might otherwise see no future, find work, support their families, and become valued members of their communities.

In addition to its award scheme, the Trust runs a second project. The Hardman Directory is a guide for prisoners and ex-offenders seeking funding support for personal development and resettlement purposes. It is the only publication of its kind and is hugely valued by prisoners and ex-offenders as well as by prison, probation and other agency staff.


The Trust operates one of the most rigorous selection and payment processes in award making to prisoners. Each applicant is interviewed by an Awards Assessor, and their application is looked at critically. 

An award winner receives:

  • Up to £900 to help achieve a specific resettlement goal.
  • A letter to the Governor requesting a note of the award on the person's prison record which may help make the case for release at a parole hearing.
  • An invitation to an award ceremony at one of HM Prisons, which can be attended by family, friends and support staff. What a morale-booster, all round!

Awards are made for a broad range of purposes including: equipment for business start-ups such as laptop and printer; tools of many different trades; work clothing; support costs for academic courses; HGV and LGV training; forklift and dumper truck training and many other vocational courses. All of the awards are focused, practical, and relate to the individuals making a success of their lives.

Some people can be given more than one Hardman Award - because we have a long-term commitment to the people we help. That's a really important feature of the Hardman Trust.

2,000 copies of the Hardman Directory are printed annually and distributed free to all prisons and approved premises in the UK. People can also request a free PDF or download the Directory app by visiting the Trust's website.

Here are just two examples of the appreciative comments sent to the Trust by prisoners.

“I am getting released in 6 weeks and it [The Hardman Directory] made me be able to calm down and breathe. I’m writing to ask if I could be sent a copy. It will be a much-needed ‘bible’ to me in the future.”

“I think it’s an amazing Directory and will help lots of individuals like myself find help especially when you have limited contact when in prison, with the outside.”

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