HMP Dartmoor Time Banks was launched at the prison’s Inside Out event and so far 31 men have said that they are interested in joining. Penny, the Fair Shares worker, will be in the prisons on Thursdays and is working to set up exchanges within the prison but also linking the hours given in the prison with the community in Devon. There is a time bank nearby in Plymouth so there are lots of opportunities to look at building links with families and the community.
HMP Leyhill has seen a new co-ordinator appointed in the prison. He takes over a thriving Times2 maths project so we expect him to be very busy. The Times2 mentors have created a small steering group to look at the possibilities of writing their own maths booklets and they are meeting once a month. In Leyhill we have been approached by Turning Pages mentors and the Listeners who wanted to donate their hours to the good will pot. It’s great to see other volunteers getting involved.
The co-ordinator at HMP Erlestoke has done a very good job of increasing the mentor and learner numbers for the Times 2 maths group especially as the prison has been through some difficulties. Fair Shares staff and the co-ordinator have written the Football Maths course and we are just waiting for the ‘stars to align’ so that we can get the co-ordinator, Lucia, a PEI and a free gym all at the same time to start the course.
Women at HMP Eastwood Park have been very busy donating hours from their various voluntary positions and the time bank is thriving. Eastwood Park is also looking at the possibility of linking up with Times2 maths. Two videos of Mum’s reading stories that have been filmed by Fair Shares staff have been sent out to the families and have been very well received. Filming of the other DVD’s is due to restart this autumn now that we have sorted out the equipment issues.
We have secured funding for more of the mentors’ personal skills courses we piloted for mentors in Leyhill and we are working with prison staff to roll out more across the South West. These courses help mentors and volunteers work with those that they support. Watch this space for updates on where the courses will take place.