"It is a privilege and a wonderful opportunity to be part of Project Remake, I felt a sense of community and belongingness within its fold. The difficulties of accepting and forgiving one’s past and reconciling with the present is always a challenge for anyone who has traversed similar paths, it is a bridge to a future with renewed courage and outlook for a fulfilling life ahead. A place of being oneself free of judgement and ridicule from downfalls endured, imbued with noble ideals that encourages rising up towards inspired beginnings, to hope anew, to dream again."
John, 2021 ReMake course
"I was referred to Project ReMake by Working Chance (an organisation that helps women with convictions gain their confidence back and also with getting into paid employment and or training. I would say the day that I started on the programme was the day my life changed. It had been ages since I had come out of prison, but I was still paying for that. When I came out, I went to college and then to university where I gained a BSc in Criminology and Psychology and a Master’s in Public Health. I also did voluntary work just to get experience which is what every employer kept asking from me only after they saw my DBS. Fast forward to now, after falling and rising, Kameel and Project ReMake got me doing an entrepreneurial course and then got me into a paid placement with Capita Plc. My placement finished, but Capita saw the potential in me and kept me on. This would not have happened if Kameel did not believe in us. Everything that he taught me, helped me gain my confidence back and know that I am a worthy member of society no matter what my past says. All I should do is look unto the future and go get my price. Kameel Khan, thank God for you and may your work be recognised by all. You have shown me that it is not how you fall but how you learn from it and rise. And now I RISE thanks to you and your team. I will forever be grateful".
Nancy, ReMake course 2021
"Remake has honed in me the ability to speak with people from a very different background to myself. Before engaging in project remake, I found it nearly impossible to empathise with pro social peers as I lived a very different life. I used to feel like I was not worthy; however, since engaging with Kameel, Bernadette and the rest of the team I've grown to see quite the opposite. I am worthy! I am able be a better man, a better father a better son. They have literally transformed my life securing me meaningful employment and planting the seeds for many friendships to grow securing a lifelong pro-social network that I look forward to building on."
Shaun, ReMake course 2021
"I cannot describe how much of an impact Kameel has made on my outlook at life and my business since meeting him on the first Remake course.
Prior to meeting Kameel I never used to speak on my past fearing that I would be judged everywhere I go but he helped me realise that we need adversity to grow, 10% is what happened 90% is how you deal with it because ultimately you’re defined by your reaction to that situation and Every success story comes down to how someone handled the situation.
This thought process is what has helped me build on my story to help others that have made similar mistakes because what is a mistake without the lesson, the best teacher in life is your own experience.
I have been on many courses with different organisations that claim to help but once the course is over that’s it. Kameel has maintained contact and often offers advice and assistance with anything I’m doing. For me he is more than a mentor I actually consider him a friend."
Craig, 2021 ReMake course
“We became a great community and were unstoppable together.”
Jerome, 2019 ReMake course
“The Project ReMAKE programme fuelled my passion to start my own business. I haven’t looked back since! It gave me the opportunity to meet and work with various individuals and professionals from different parts of the industry allowing us to ask questions, test our ideas and answer some thought provoking questions. What I found most interesting and exciting was the empathises on acknowledging those transferable entrepreneurial skills we once used as offenders and how to use those skills positively now as ex-offenders.”
Dwayne, 2019 ReMake course
“The ReMAKE course was a great way for me to learn business skills. It gave me all the tools that I needed to start up a business and gave me the opportunity to meet and network with people to help my business take off. I would recommend it to anybody who would like to become an entrpreneneur.”
Darrell, 2019 ReMake course
"The engagement of students with ReMake Educational at St Paul’s Girls’ School has been profound. This was clear from first contact, in a one-off presentation to senior students by Kameel Khan – part of a series of presentations by invited speakers given to students at the school. Students immediately identified with the human stories, pain, and suffering leading to incarceration and that everyone deserves a second chance. Subsequently, the school has introduced two ten-week electives, offering students in their first year of A-levels the opportunity to learn about the justice system and rehabilitation of ex-offenders and, in return, to contribute through project-work aimed at improving the opportunity for formerly incarcerated people to return to society with dignity through their projects and increasing general awareness and understanding around the subject. It is the students’ recognition of the trauma and lack of privilege or opportunity that often results in incarceration that is most palpable. They also recognise the principles, humanity and kindness that underpins ReMake; qualities that are modelled time and again by Kameel and Bernadette in their delivery of this pilot scheme. Students comment on the lack of condescension by all parties during the discussion groups. There is nothing patronising in the meetings between students and returning citizens, just an understanding that all parties have a great deal to learn and benefit from each other.
Programs like this do not happen without a huge amount of effort and commitment. Introducing a scheme in a school, working with ex-offenders alongside students, requires a great deal of care, planning and, frankly, courage. The extraordinary lengths that Bernadette and Kameel have taken to make this happen, safely; the generosity of spirit; and the goodwill and esteem with which they are held by the visiting speakers, whether returning citizens, prison governors and staff, mentors (and now the school staff and pupils), is nothing short of inspirational. Everyone involved wants to contribute, to make a difference, and to stand on a box and shout about the importance of social justice, inclusion and why we should welcome formerly incarcerated people back into society, investing in them, because it is simply right to do so.
I am a convert(!) and I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with Kameel, Bernadette and their very small, but dedicated team of volunteers and supporters at ReMake.
As a teacher, I believe in the power of education to improve lives and it is precisely this that the pilot sets out to achieve with support from all quarters at the school: students, staff and parents alike."
Ellis Whitcomb, Deputy Head – Director of Strategic Development, St Paul’s Girls’ School
Hear from former San Quentin inmate Kenyatta Leal
Kenyatta Leal is a founding member of the Last Mile programme of San Quentin which teaches computer coding to people in prison. He was speaking to Dr Khan after having been released from San Quentin after 23 years of incarceration and to talk about Project Remade at Stanford University. He is largely recognised as a success story for re-entry into society by an ex-offender. He is also known for his TED talks on the prison start up.
“That twenty year old drug dealer earning many thousands of pounds a week whilst destroying lives, when he leaves prison, is not very likely to want to work for McDonalds for the rest of his life. That guy, like the rest of us, wants to succeed in life but, in his case, no-one has spent the time to show him that he can do that and yes, acquire the possessions you and I have - but legitimately.
Kameel and his Project Remake give that individual and other formerly imprisoned entrepreneurial individuals the time and opportunity to see, explore, learn and achieve.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs form the economic backbone of this country. Thousands of individuals who should be integral to our country’s well-being are behind bars - and currently time and time again. The financial, social and human cost to us all of maintaining this status quo is quite simply staggering and yet a large part of society still chooses to turn a blind eye to all of this.
Project Remake uniquely addresses this unnecessary waste of often exceptional human talent. It takes just one person to change someone’s life, even that of a drug dealer. Multiply that a few times and the outcome can be spectacular. Come and see for yourselves. I encourage you to get involved in this most inspiring and rewarding of projects.”
Andrew Leslau, Business Advisor