A NOTE FROM HMP SEND ...
The Welcome Directory is a welcome addition to our resources! Chaplaincy is such a privilege, as we accompany women through the emotional ups and downs of prison life, and often have the humbling experience of hearing their comments – “if I hadn’t come to prison I’d probably be dead by now”, “I never thought I’d cope with prison but God is giving me the strength”, “I know I’m a different person than I was before”.
Often we can see those differences taking shape in their lives, and in some cases we have the joy of seeing people discover or grow in their faith too. And of course we’d like to hope that those changes mean a bright new future. But we know the statistics about reoffending, and know that if support continues beyond the gate the chances of reoffending are significantly reduced.
We have set up Making Connections to provide mentoring to every woman who would like help to prepare for release, and the Making Connections team of volunteer mentors seek community support for their mentees, wherever they are returning to. They work with partner organisations who offer mentoring, and with churches where people want to join a faith community, or where there are gaps in non-faith based provision for others.
The Welcome Directory, as it grows, will provide an important and time-saving route to ensure that more people leaving prison can be assured of community support. That’s why we are actively encouraging local churches to sign up, and we are hoping that other prisons will too, so that in the end we have a country with no “black holes” for people leaving prison to fall into, but rather a welcome everywhere!
Lesley Mason - Managing Chaplain, HMP Send
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