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Ex-prison inmates revamp homes

A group of former prisoners have set up their own construction business to tackle a shortage of homes for ex-offenders.

Up to a dozen properties in Staffordshire are being refurbished as part of the project supported by the Lifekeys charity, based at Dovegate prison in Uttoxeter.

The Walk scheme was started by Simon Edwards who spent seven-and-half-years in jail.

Research by the Prison Reform Trust suggests providing a settled home for ex-prisoners is an important way to cut re-offending.

The former inmates, many of whom learnt construction skills in jail, are paid £50 a day to work on the properties and are monitored by the authorities.

The houses in Staffordshire are expected to be completed by January.