Local charity seeks volunteers from Northumberland area to support families and children

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A north east charity, supporting over 200,000 visitors to north east prisons each year, is seeking new volunteers in the Northumberland area to help support families and children of prisoners.

Nepacs has worked across the north east region for over 135 years to help support a positive future for prisoners, their friends and families.

The charity’s existing team of volunteers provide a wide range of services in all seven prisons in the north east and in the community. They are now calling out for more volunteers to help provide support to children and families at HMP Northumberland’s visitors centre and with their family support service in the prison.

There are a wide range of volunteering opportunities with Nepacs at the prison. The charity is looking for volunteers to:

- Help run their visit tea bars – serving refreshments in the visitors’ centre to families and in the visits hall during the visit

- Provide a warm welcome, support and information within the visitors’ centre to families coming to visit their relative in prison

- Help run the play areas within the visitors’ centre and visits hall – providing games and activities for children during normal and special family visits

-  Support their family support programme which helps the family throughout the time their partner/relative is in prison, and their new Heading Home programme which works with the family and the person in prison to plan for their release.

Emma Price, Nepacs volunteer coordinator, said: “Our team of volunteers are dedicated to helping prisoners’ families and children across the north east, but we need more volunteers to ensure we can offer the best support possible, particularly in Northumberland which due to it’s location can be difficult for some people to access.

“The impact of imprisonment on children and families can be devastating and visiting court or prison for the first time can be quite difficult and sometimes distressing. Our volunteers offer a warm welcome and someone to chat to, which is particularly important for people who are going into the unknown and are facing a place and situation they may never have thought they would ever be.”

Nepacs volunteers come from all walks of life, including people who are retired, students and professionals who volunteer in their spare time.

Emma added: “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. All of our volunteers are offered travel expenses and receive relevant training and support.”

If you are interested in volunteering with the Nepacs Northumberland team please get in touch with the manager Adrienne Ruddock for an informal chat, by telephone on 01670 383736 or email aruddock@nepacs.co.uk

Alternatively you can contact Nepacs’ head office on 0191 3757278 or email volunteering@nepacs.co.uk Details of the full range of volunteer opportunities with Nepacs are available HERE.

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