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Nepacs caravan project

Nepacs caravan project supports time for prisoners’ families

Nepacs, a long standing north east charity which supports a positive future of prisoners and their families, is seeking volunteers to help support its Northumberland caravan project.

Staff and volunteers from Nepacs provide a number of services to support friends and families of prisoners, in HMP Northumberland, HMP Frankland, HMP Holme House, HMP Durham, HMP Kirklevington Grange, HMPYOI Deerbolt, and HMP&YOI Low Newton. These services include prison visitors’ centres and tea bars, play sessions for prisoners’ children, family visits, listening support, a youth project, integrated family support and support within the Middlesbrough and Durham courts.

Nepacs also owns two caravans on the Northumberland coast (near Amble) and offers weekly holidays to families of prisoners. The aim is to give families a chance to relax in pleasant surroundings and spend valuable time together.

Kath Ogilvie, Nepacs trustee and coordinator of the caravan project, said: “Every year thousands of families experience the impact of imprisonment despite many never having being involved in or committed a crime. From the moment of arrest and throughout the court process and prison sentence, families are at risk of social isolation and stigma which can affect their emotional, physical, financial and social wellbeing. Many grandparents or other relatives may also become full time carers of children whose parent is sent to prison.

“We have operated the caravan project for many years and it really makes a difference to the families to have a holiday. Some have never experienced a holiday before and it gives them a well needed break.”

Nepacs is looking for volunteers to help clean out the caravans and make them presentable for the next holiday makers each week, then welcome the families and introduce them to the site. You will not be working alone, but with our experienced project leader. The project needs volunteers for a few hours every Wednesday 10.30am – 2.30pm approximately.

Families who have benefitted from the caravan holidays in the past said:

“We have not had a break since our son was sentenced, and it is much welcomed and a lovely chance to unwind.”

“My daughter is in prison and I am looking after her daughter (age 3). I am not in good health and the opportunity for a holiday was much appreciated.”

“My family and grand daughters have been through a lot these past 6 months since my son was sentenced; we have never experienced prison before and this has been hard to deal with.”

If you are interested in volunteering with the caravan project please get in touch with Nepacs on 0191 3757278 or email volunteering@nepacs.co.uk Find out more about Nepacs at www.nepacs.co.uk

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