Seeking more volunteers to support families at HMP Durham

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Nepacs, a north east charity supporting over 140,000 visitors to north east prisons each year, is seeking new volunteers in the Durham 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 Durham’s visitors centre and with their family support service in the prison.

HMP Durham, which is conveniently situated in Durham City, will soon become a reception centre for prisoners on remand, awaiting sentencing or serving short sentences, which means that the prison and Nepacs will be offering more visit sessions to families of prisoners. 

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

-  Assist their family support programme which helps the family throughout the time their partner/relative is in prison and prior to 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 Durham which in the future will be providing more visit sessions for families who are supporting a relative who is awaiting sentencing or who has been remanded in custody.  

“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 at HMP Durham where many people 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. We are particularly looking for volunteers who can help out on weekends, covering shifts of around 4 hours.

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 team please get in touch with us on 0191 3757278 or email

Details of the full range of volunteer opportunities with Nepacs are HERE.


Wendy collings

24 Apr, 2017

hiya im looking to help with chidrens activities

Christine Symonds

18 May, 2017

I have made some Rosary bracelets and would Ike to offer them for giving some comfort to family members supported by Nepacs. It maybe people on remand and in prison could not take them into prison but could take one home on release from their sentences. The bracelets are simple beads on elastic with two small Catholic items, a crucifix and a Mary medal .I gave some to colleagues in Open Gate charity, and wondered if you would like some? Kind regards, Christine Symonds

Julia Deakin

22 May, 2017

Hi I work as a family support worker at the cedarwood trust on the medow well north shield I work with disadvantages family's . Am interested in some volunteering work .

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