1977 Our work is first set up by national charity NACRO as an advisory service for ex-offenders and those about to leave prison

1978 We set up the NACRO Education Centre just off Oxford Road

1980s The NACRO Education Centre reaches around 500 ex-offenders each year, and the model is copied nationally with education centres set up in several cities in the UK.

1991 NACRO changes its focus nationally, and the staff at the Manchester centre decide to set up a charity to ensure that the education work in Manchester can continue

1992 We become an independent registered charity called NEARIS (Northern Education and Resettlement Information Services) with a centre called MERC (Manchester Education Resettlement Centre)

1994 NEARIS moves to Swan Buildings in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

2002 NEARIS starts running outreach courses in hostels and day centre settings

2007 David Haley, the founder of the work, retires after 30 years’ service, and David Fisher takes over as Chief Executive

2009 We change our name to Back on Track, to better reflect who we are and what we do

2010 We are awarded two quality marks: the matrix standard (for careers guidance) and the Approved Provider Standard (for mentoring and befriending)

2012 Back on Track celebrates 35 years of operation with an awards ceremony for our volunteers and a brand new Facebook page!

2014 After 20 years in Swan Buildings we launch a new project to explore and share the heritage of the building

2014 Back on Track gains national recognition, winning a prestigious award for our work with probation clients

2015 After eight years David Fisher steps down and Siobhan Pollitt becomes the third person to lead NEARIS/Back on Track

2015 The Back on Track cafe opens, serving up drinks, snacks and lunches and providing great new training and work experience opportunities

2016 Back on Track win the ‘best volunteer involving organisation’ at the Spirit of Manchester awards




 our history