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Volunteer mentors needed for prison project 

Community Chaplaincy Norfolk is seeking new volunteer mentors from across Norfolk to provide people leaving prison with emotional and practical support as they rebuild their lives.

Community Chaplaincy Norfolk (CCN) is a Christian charity which supports men and women leaving prison to live in Norfolk.  Based at St Stephen’s Church Café in Norwich city centre, they welcome mentors and clients of all faiths and none.

‘Our mentors support their clients with everything from that first daunting day through the prison gate, to meeting up regularly for a coffee and a chat, or even going on a dog walk or to an art gallery together,’ says Mentor Coordinator Abby Erwin. 

As a current mentor puts it, mentoring is ‘walking with somebody along their journey, encouraging them to move on to new and positive places. It’s a real privilege.’

Mentoring is an opportunity to help someone make a real, positive difference in their life. One CCN client says ‘The shape of my life is a lot clearer now. I’m doing things now I’d never have dreamed of before I went to prison. If it wasn’t for my mentor, I probably wouldn’t be here now.’

‘People skills are the most important quality a mentor needs to have – listening, connecting and building relationships on a human level is at the heart of everything we do,’ says Abby. Mentors must also be over 25, reliable, organised and resourceful, and have some basic IT skills.

New mentors are required to attend an 8-week training course, which starts on Tuesday 6th September at St Stephen’s Church, 2 Rampant Horse Street, Norwich, from 7pm to 9pm. It will run on Tuesday evenings until 25th October.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Mentor Coordinator Abby Erwin via abby@norfolkchaplaincy.org.uk or 07706 348472. More information can be found on their website, www.norfolkchaplaincy.org.uk 

Find out more about CCN’s work and the experience of being released from prison in their recent guest blog for renowned justice writer Russell Webster: https://www.russellwebster.com/first-day-out-of-prison/ 

Pictured: CCN Mentor Tom and Client Adie (and guide dog Chester) enjoying a guitar lesson

Helen Baldry, 06/08/2022

Helen Baldry
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