Getting ready for Open Churches Week 2017
Here are just some of the local opportunities:
Prison Fellowship works through its volunteer members to support prisoners in a number of ways and through various programmes. Two local PF leaders explain their involvement in our local prisons. You can contact them to get involved or to find out more.
Become a prisoner friendly church
Download the free Welcome Directory Prison Awareness Course. Made up of three sessions, it aims to inspire and challenge faith communities to examine their beliefs through discussion and practical encounters. The purpose is to get to know the people who live in, work in and who will eventually be released from our prisons. Find out more from Roger Wells email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or download the sessions from: http://goo.gl/iQH5kX
Ormiston Families is a leading charity for children, young people and families in the East of England. We provide services in a range of settings, including the children of offenders. Our team at HMP Norwich runs the Visitors’ Centre and a range of support services and activities for prisoners and for their children and families. We are well supported by a team of volunteers who bring a wide range of experience, skills and compassionate understanding. We are always keen to hear of anyone who would be interested in finding out more about volunteering with us. Ormiston Families runs similar services in HMP Bure and HMP Wayland.
Volunteering in prison libraries
Norfolk Library and Information Service provide a library service to prisons based in Norfolk. At HMP Bure, staff run a book group encouraging prisoners to read and explore books which are provided by the library service. Partners in the scheme include The Prisoners Education Trust and the University of Roehampton.
We are looking to extend this to both Norwich and Wayland Prisons this year and we are looking for volunteers to expand the project to the new sites. This role offers a great opportunity to make a difference to the lives of prisoners, helping them to read more widely and more often, in a secure and sometimes challenging environment.
Volunteering in a prison environment is not for everyone. Volunteers are asked to give 3.5 hours per month to support the book group meetings to ensure that participants get the most from the book group. We are seeking volunteers with a passion for reading and education to help support the existing reading group at HMP Bure and those we would like to start at HMP Wayland and HMP Norwich.
If you are interested in finding out more about the role or other roles look at www.norfolk.gov.uk/jobs-training-andvolunteering/volunteering/libraries, email email@example.com or call and speak to one of our prison librarians, Gemma, on 01603 706344
Community Chaplaincy Norfolk
Working out of the House of Genesis charity (see page 14), Community Chaplaincy Norfolk co-ordinates volunteers to work with people in prison to help them prepare for release and stay in contact after they leave prison. They act as mentors and give support and practical help to reduce the risk of re-offending. This can be anything from meeting them as they come out of the prison gate to helping find employment or medical support. When appropriate they may support offenders who are on a faith journey and link the person with a supportive church or faith community if requested. Contact Susan Carne, 07932 014735, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ecumenical Criminal Justice Forum
The group was formed to offer a platform for discussion in the area of criminal justice, so that practitioners in this area can come together to hear speakers from different disciplines within the field, and debate issues of the day as they affect them and those encountered within the criminal justice system. The forum meets three or four times a year and brings together a variety of professionals and volunteers in the field of criminal justice, including the probation and prison services, the police, the judiciary, and agencies concerned with victim support, mental health and addictions, rehabilitation of ex-offenders and other specialist areas.
Meetings usually take place at Granary Court, Bishop’s House, Norwich. For further information: Paddy Seligman 01263 768742, email@example.com