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North East Connected

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A north east charity is inviting friends and families of prisoners in north east prisons to come along to an event in March to have their say on how services they receive can be improved.

The Visitors’ Voice event will take place on Wednesday 15 March 2017 from 10am to 2pm at Bowburn Community Centre, Bowburn, County Durham, DH6 5AT. Free lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Helen Attewell, chief executive of Nepacs said: “Following the press publicity about levels of violence and self-harm in our prisons, many of our visitors have experienced high levels of anxiety about their friends and relatives.

“The focus of the regional event will be on how we can make prisons safer – how do we ensure that prisons make best use of vital information from visitors who are concerned that a loved one in prison is vulnerable?”

Nepacs, a long-standing charity in the north east of England which aims to support a positive future for prisoners and their families, has organised the annual event to give anyone currently visiting a prison in the north east of England a ‘voice’ about how services they receive when visiting prison can be improved.

Nepacs run a number of services to support friends and families of prisoners, including:

 prison visitors’ centres and tea bars

 play sessions for prisoners’ children and youth projects

 integrated family support services

 support within the Middlesbrough and Durham courts.

Helen Attewell, chief executive of Nepacs continued: “Our annual Visitors’ Voice event is a great opportunity for people who have a friend or relative in prison to get together and speak to others in a similar situation.

“So, if you have a loved one in prison in the north east please come along to our Visitors’ Voice event.

We want to find out what you think about the help and support you are receiving, and how we can make your visit experience better.

“There will also be an opportunity to talk to prison staff, a member of the prison chaplaincy and the Samaritans Listeners service.”

For more information about the event or to book a place please email training@nepacs.co.uk or telephone 0191 332 3810.

Alternatively, if you already go to a visitors’ centre in the north east you can book your place with the centre manager.

To find out more about the work of Nepacs, including how you can get involved or make a donation please visit www.nepacs.co.uk