A north east charity celebrated 10 years of supporting families and children of prisoners at HMYOI Deerbolt near Barnard Castle on Sunday 1 October 2017.
Nepacs has worked across the north east for over 135 years to help support a positive future for prisoners, their friends and families and provides a range of support services to prisoners and their families in all seven prisons in the region. The visitors’ centre at Deerbolt, run by Nepacs, was opened in October 2007 by Anne Owers, who was the HM Inspector of Prisons at the time. The centre was built thanks to funding raised by Nepacs.
Nepacs CEO Helen Attewell and The Town Mayor of Barnard Castle Cllr Sandra Moorhouse cutting the birthday cake at HMYOI Deerbolt’s visitors centre
The anniversary was celebrated with a birthday cake and activities for the children visiting the centre. Joining in the celebrations were staff from the prison and the The Town Mayor of Barnard Castle Cllr Sandra Moorhouse.
Visitors’ centre team leader, Linda Fenwick, said: “The centre has undergone many changes over the years since it opened, including a conservatory which opened in 2011 as a dedicated play area.
“We continue to strive to make the difficult experience of visiting a prison as easy and painless as possible. Our staff and volunteers take pride in going the extra mile to offer help and support.
“If anyone would like to join our friendly team and work at the centre, or in the visits hall providing play activities for children, we would be very pleased to hear from potential volunteers. We can make a real difference in keeping families together and improving the chances of resettlement for the young men on their release.”
Helen Attewell, chief executive of Nepacs, added: “As a mother of two sons who are the same age as Deerbolt residents, I often think about how difficult it must be for the parents who visit prison. Our staff and volunteers provide vital reassurance and a listening ear – and I now can’t imagine what is must have been like before Nepacs provided this service. I want to appeal to those who live in the local area who have some time and life experience to give to help sustain our work by volunteering for Nepacs.