The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

CCN Paula
Norfolk charity seeks volunteers to support prison leavers 

Community Chaplaincy Norfolk is looking for people to become mentors to support people leaving prison. Full training is provides and the next sessions start on March 3.

Community Chaplaincy Norfolk (CCN) continues to provide a ‘Both Sides of the Gate’ mentor support service to people leaving prison in Norfolk. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the organisation having to find alternative ways to establish and maintain contact with serving prisoners, in line with the precautionary measures taken by HMP Norwich to limit the spread of the virus. Christian Charity CCN is liaising with prison staff to provide telephone support to prisoners approaching release, as well as writing letters, and working with other agencies around the City, with a view to reducing re-offending rates and supporting individuals to resettle after a custodial sentence.

CCN Manager, Melanie Wheeler said “Leaving prison is a challenging time, made even tougher by the pandemic. The choices individuals make at this vital point influence whether a person re-offends or goes forward to build a positive future.  CCN are there to guide and support people looking to move away from a life of crime.  We are always looking for new Volunteer Mentors to walk with people leaving prison”.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, among other grant funders, the CCN ‘Both Sides of the Gate’ project recruits, trains and supports volunteer mentors to assist with successful re-integration into society, after release from prison.   One CCN service user comments “My experience of CCN has been an altogether good one, they have been helpful, friendly, understanding and most of all non-judgemental about my crime and my past and I feel relaxed and able to talk openly about things that are happening and have happened in my life, and the support I have got has helped me feel confident that there is support there for me after my release as well.”

The next CCN training course starts on Wednesday 3rd March 2021 at St Stephen’s Church in Norwich or online via Zoom. 
Those interested in applying can do so at https://norfolkchaplaincy.org.uk/volunteering/ or by emailing info@norfolkchaplaincy.org.uk.  Alternatively, telephone Melanie Wheeler on 07710 303909.

Helen Baldry, 25/01/2021

Helen Baldry

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