Charity looks for prison volunteers

HMP Northumberland.
HMP Northumberland.

A long-standing North-East charity is seeking new volunteers to help support families and children of prisoners at HMP Northumberland.

Nepacs works across the region and its range of services includes running visitors’ centres, play sessions for inmates’ children and listening support, among other projects.

The organisation has a team of almost 200 volunteers working across the North East, but it is particularly keen to recruit more volunteers at Acklington-based HMP Northumberland, which is a category C prison for men.

The team is looking for people who have a few hours to spare each week or fortnightly to help in the visitors’ centre, tea bar or play area.

The centre is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons.

Adrienne Ruddock, Nepacs visitors’ centre manager at HMP Northumberland, said: “Nepacs has worked with families of prisoners at HMP Northumberland, and its predecessor prisons, for more than 15 years.

“Our team of staff and volunteers provide a friendly place to chat, have a cup of tea and can help to answer any questions or concerns that visitors may have about visiting prison or about their loved ones in prison.

“We are always interested in seeking more volunteers to join our team and share in our experience of providing a warm and friendly environment for families visiting loved ones in prison.

“We greet people from all walks of life from near and far so it’s important that everyone is treated with respect and feels welcome in a place and situation that they may never have thought they would ever be.

“Volunteering can also provide you with valuable training and experience, and working with families, especially children, can be very rewarding for all.”

No previous experience is required, but helping out in the play area would suit someone who has training in childcare. References and security clearance will be required.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering should contact Adrienne for an informal chat by emailing aruddock@nepacs.co.uk or calling 01670 383736.