North East Connected

Local charity seeks volunteers to support families and children on Teesside

Nepacs, a long standing North East charity, is seeking new volunteers to help support families and children of prisoners on Teesside.

Nepacs works across the north east region to help support a positive future for prisoners, their friends and families. Staff and volunteers from Nepacs provide a number of services to support friends and families of prisoners, in HMP Northumberland, HMP Frankland, HMP Holme House, HMP Durham, HMP Kirklevington Grange, HMYOI Deerbolt, and HMP&YOI Low Newton. These services include prison visitors’ centres and tea bars, play sessions for prisoners’ children, listening support, a youth project, integrated family support and support within the Middlesbrough and Durham courts.   

Nepacs has a fantastic team of volunteers working across the region, but are particularly keen to recruit more volunteers in the Teesside area, to provide support to children and families of prisoners at:

Hilary Askin, Nepacs visitors’ centre manager at HMP Holme House, said: “We have a fantastic team of staff and volunteers who are dedicated to helping families and children visiting HMP Holme House or Kirklevington Grange, many of whom have never visited a prison before.

“Visiting prison for the first time can be quite difficult and sometimes distressing. 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 greet people from all walks of life from near and far so it’s important that everyone is treated with respect, and feel welcome in a place and situation they may never have thought they would ever be.

“We are always interested in seeking more volunteers to join our team and provide a warm and friendly environment for families visiting loved ones in prison. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, people who have retired and professionals who volunteer in their spare time. If you think you could support us by volunteering and would like to be part of a team who helps to make a difference to the lives of prisoners families please get in touch.”

Jane Leak, support at courts coordinator, added: “We are looking for volunteers who have some spare time to offer befriending support, advice and information to friends and families of defendants visiting the courts. You may have travelled a similar journey, have relevant skills or experience, and can offer genuine understanding, empathy and emotional support. Volunteering with families and making a difference, can be very rewarding and can also provide you with valuable training and experience.”

No previous experience is required, but if you would like to help out in the play area it would suit someone who has training in childcare. References and security clearance will be required.

If you are interested in volunteering with Nepacs please email or telephone 0191 375 7278. Further details of all our volunteer opportunities are on our website  

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