Funds raised at prison to aid the work of charity

Inmates at HMP Northumberland have raised money to help a charity which supports prisoners and their families.

Sunday, 25th December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:11 pm
The prison's Business Hub team wearing their jumpers and spreading festive cheer. From left: Stephen Dargue, Michelle Stansfield, Claire Clark, Allison Thompson and Sarah Potts, with Lorna Stewart-Hook at the front.

More than £1,000 has been collected to go towards the jail’s visitor centre, which is run by Nepacs: North East Prisoner Family Support, and to provide for children who visit the Acklington-based Category C unit.

The money will allow Nepacs to buy new toys, arts and crafts materials for youngsters, as well as going towards a new youth zone which the charity hopes to start next year for older children who use the centre.

Staff member Lorna Stewart-Hook said: “Prisoner involvement was important so the idea of raising money for the visitor centre and collecting money for the children who visit HMP Northumberland was a fantastic idea, with all money raised coming from prisoners.”

She spent three weeks visiting each house block, speaking to prisoners and explaining the vision she had, while workers from the Prisoner Information Desk collected donations. Sodexo Justice Services, who run the prison, also contributed.

Meanwhile, staff took part in Christmas Jumper Day (pictured above), raising £510 for Save the Children.

Other events that have taken place throughout December include family visit days with a special appearance from Santa and a staff Christingle run by the chaplaincy department enabling staff to bring friends and family into HMP Northumberland to take part in the service.

Lorna added: “There has also been a lot of unit-based activities to make what is for many prisoners a time of reflection, missing loved ones, and often the loneliest time of the year; that little bit easier.”