Nepacs is currently seeking new volunteers to support children and families of prisoners visiting HMP Holme House near Stockton and HMP Kirklevington Grange near Yarm in Teesside.
The charity has worked across the north east region for over 135 years to help support a positive future for prisoners, their friends and families.
Nepacs are looking for people who can support families at court on the day their loved one is sentenced to prison, as well as volunteers to help serve refreshments in the visitors centre outside of the prison, or in the prison visits hall on the day a family visit their loved one in prison. They are also looking for volunteers to work in their play areas for young children, both outside and inside the prisons.
Emma Price, Nepacs’ volunteer coordinator, said: “The impact of imprisonment on children and families can be devastating which is why we feel it is important to support them every step of their journey – from the courts, during the time their loved one is in prison and prior to release. Our team of volunteers are dedicated to helping prisoners’ families and children across the north east, but we are looking for more volunteers to join our team supporting families visiting courts and prisons on Teesside and help us to offer the best support possible during what is an extremely difficult time for families.
“Unfortunately for families affected by having a loved one in prison, a cup of tea or coffee does not make everything better but being able to have a chat and a drink with our volunteers does help. Our play area volunteers are also on hand during visits to help make the experience as friendly and fun as possible for the young children visiting a parent or relative in prison.
“If you are interested in volunteering in our tea bars or play areas you can help in our Visitors’ Centres outside the prison, or within the prison whilst the family have their visit with their loved one.”
*Lorna’s husband was sent to prison for two years and she told us that the worst part was telling her children. She said: “Everything is destroyed, your way of life, your security, your finances. You try to keep everything normal but it’s not normal. Listening to your children crying every night asking when their dad is coming home.”
Emma added: “Nepacs volunteers come from all walks of life. If you think you could support someone like ‘Lorna’ by volunteering and would like to be part of a team who helps to make a difference to the lives of prisoners’ children and families please get in touch or find out more through our website.”
There are volunteer opportunities Monday to Sunday but weekends are the busiest times.
Further details of all volunteer opportunities with Nepacs are HERE or you can email email@example.com