Creators of exquisite handmade chocolates, Grace Chocolates supports women touched by the Criminal Justice System to make positive changes to their lives.
Joyce Murray began volunteering at the Family Hub Centre at Cornton Vale HMP and Young Offenders Insitution in 2013. Until that point she had no involvement with the criminal justice system, but hearing the stories of the women and their families touched her heart.
By 2017 the idea of supporting the women through making and selling “exquisitely wrapped chocolates” had been planted. She began speaking with people who knew a thing or two about the criminal justice system and expected to be told it was a daft idea that would never work. On the contrary: everyone was full of encouragement and support. Less than a year after the first conversation, the first Grace Chocolates were being produced.
Joyce said: “From the very early days we began our partnership with the Scottish Prison Service and a lady from Cornton Vale was one of the team.
“Positive Changes is a Community Interest Company and we are supported by a dedicated team of volunteers who generously gift their time and talents: supporting the women, helping pack the chocolates, selling the chocolates, helping out with office tasks, making lunch to keep us all nourished and fed and generally walk beside the women on their journey towards a different life.
“We are always keen to talk to you if you are interested in becoming involved. Everybody has a gift and talent to offer and we would love to hear from you.”
MAKING POSITIVE CHANGES
Grace Chocolate’s Making Positive Programme is for any lady who has touched the Scottish criminal justice system and is keen to make positive steps towards finding a job.
Joyce said: “The scheme is a great way to support you on your way to employment, to meet new people who can join your support network going forward, have some fun while learning new skills and prove to yourself what you really can do!”