A Bolton-based social enterprise has launched a business scheme to help inspire prisoners to turn their lives around when they leave jail.

Entrepreneurs Unlocked works with people in prison and on probation to embark on a new self-employment pathway by providing specialist program advice, and support.

Ambassadors joining the program will visit prisons to share their stories with prisoners and showcase how they have turned their lives around to become successful entrepreneurs and business owners.

John Hastings, director of Recycle-IT CIC, and Sam Smith, founder of Genuine Futures CIC are the first to join the program.

The Bolton News: Sam Smith and John Hastings

John left school at 15, with no qualification or formal skills and then had 17 convictions and seven custodial sentences.

He said: “The major obstacle in business and in my life was the lack of belief I had in myself.

"When you have been put down over and over, and told that you are not worth anything, it becomes ingrained, and we need to remind ourselves that we can get ourselves out of entrenchment.

“I am delighted to join Entrepreneurs Unlocked as an ambassador and I’m looking forward to seeing what new talent and ideas there are."