Families of prisoners in the North East encouraged to voice their opinion

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Family and friends of prisoners in North East prisons are being invited to have their say about how the services are being run and how they could be improved.

The Visitors’ Voice event will take place at Pallion Action Group, East Moor Road in Sunderland from 10am-2pm on Friday March 13.

The event has been organised by long-standing charity NEPACS in partnership with Pallion Action Group and Gentoo Group.

The free event is open for the public and hopes to bring people in similar circumstances together. Refreshments and free lunch will be provided.

The charity NEPACS is a reputable North East charity that has been running for 130 years and pushes to “build bridges between prisoners, their family and the community”.

NEPACS helps around 500 prisoners and their families each year and provides small grants to help them through any financial difficulties. The charity can provide caravan holiday breaks for up to 40 families with a relative in prison each year.

NEPACS also run several services to help support friends and families of prisoners including youth projects, play sessions for prisoners’ children and tea bars.

Most of the charity’s work is delivered by enthusiastic volunteers who aim to ‘ensure a warm welcome.’

Helen Attewell, chief executive of NEPACS said: “We recognise that families of prisoners, and especially children, may become the hidden victims of crime when a relative is imprisoned.

“The Visitors’ Voice event is a great opportunity for people who have a friend or relative in prison to get together and speak to others in a similar situation.

“We are holding this year’s event in Sunderland as we are particularly keen to encourage families and friends of prisoners from the Sunderland and Wearside area to attend the event.”

Michelle Meldrum, managing director at Gentoo Operations said: “Nepacs do an amazing job supporting prisoners and their family and friends. The Visitor’ Voice event is a great way for people to have their say and meet with other people that have been through similar experiences. By supporting initiatives like this we can help to improve the way people live their live – now and in the future.”

For more information about the event or to book a place email egray@nepacs.co.uk or telephone 0191 332 3810.

To find out more about the work of NEPACS, including how you can get involved or make a donation visit www.nepacs.co.uk.#####

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