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Local charity supporting prisoners’ families receives volunteering award


Jun 14, 2017

A NORTH east charity which supports prisoners, ex-offenders and their families across the north east, has recently been awarded the County Durham Volunteering Kite mark.

Nepacs was started by a voluntary society over 135 years ago and today the charity’s team of around 200 volunteers are at the heart of everything they do.

Achievement of the County Durham Volunteering Kite mark demonstrates that Nepacs meets standards to overcome barriers to volunteering, and recognises the value of recruiting and retaining volunteers, as set out by Durham Community Action, whose commitment to volunteering is actively underpinned by the County Durham Compact.

The Kite mark shows an organisation manages a volunteering programme where volunteers receive a high quality, positive volunteering experience.  It will help volunteers to make informed choices when they apply to volunteer, and they can be reassured that Nepacs have the correct policies and processes in place to offer a rewarding and positive experience.

Nepacs’ volunteers are on the front line helping to support prisoners, ex-offenders, their families and friends at every step of their journey from the courts, to the prisons in the north east and ‘through the gate’ back into the community.

Abby Thompson, volunteer development manager from Durham Community Action, said: “Durham Community Action were delighted to present Nepacs with the County Durham Volunteer Kite Mark award. Volunteers from Nepacs played an active role in giving their views as part of the Kite Mark assessment process and commented on the excellent range and quality of the training available to them. They also felt very valued in the voluntary work that they undertook and received certificates to acknowledge their volunteering hours.  Volunteers also all spoke highly of the day to day support that they received from their managers who were always keen to get their opinions on the running of Nepacs’ services.”

Helen Attewell, Nepacs’ chief executive, said: “We are delighted to achieve the County Durham volunteer kitemark as this recognises Nepacs’ commitment to supporting and valuing our volunteers, providing them with training, support and expenses to help them to continue to undertake this vital work.

“As Nepacs has grown over the years so to have the opportunities for volunteers to get involved in every aspect of our work – whether it be working at the frontline with offenders, families and children at court or in prison visit services, or behind the scenes to provide admin support or to help raise vital funds. We have volunteer roles to suit everyone!

“Our volunteers, who come from all walks of life, are dedicated to helping to make a difference to the lives of prisoners/ex-offenders, their children and families across the north east and in doing so, supporting them to take a path to a positive future.  We aim to ensure that everyone who wants to volunteer in this area of work has the support to find an opportunity that is right for them with Nepacs and will help them to reap the rewards they want to achieve.”

If you are interested in volunteering with Nepacs please visit their website to see the range of opportunities available (www.nepacs.co.uk) or contact Emma Price on 0191 3757278, email volunteering@nepacs.co.uk  

By Emily