Rev Susan Carne was the guest speaker at St John’s Cathedral on Thursday 1st February speaking about her role as Project Co-ordinator for Community Chaplaincy Norfolk (CCN). The event was organised by Norwich Justice and Peace Group based at the cathedral. In a very passionate talk Susan explained how her role is to recruit, train and manage volunteer mentors who offer friendly support to clients, all ex-offenders who want to turn their lives around and reintegrate into society rather than returning to prison.  Her role is also to assess potential clients and liaise with prison and probation authority and with the Chaplaincy team within the prison.

CCN is not part of the prison system, it’s faith based but non-denominational.  It’s based on a model established by the Community Chaplaincy Association.

Susan challenged us during her talk. Why should we care about those in prison and be concerned that the reoffending rate in Norwich is currently at 29-32%?

Susan very clearly described the many difficulties clients faced following their release from prison and the big funding gaps in suitable supported provision especially with accommodation. Many find the prospect of release nerve wracking. For some aspects of life may have changed whilst serving their sentence, for example with mobile phone and computer technology and they find the adjustment hard.

The volunteer mentors can help in providing support and having met their clients in prison worked on a plan to identify their client’s goals.  Mentors can accompany clients to appointments, signpost them to voluntary services and meet weekly over coffee to chat and listen. 

Volunteers receive training for 2 hours on a Monday evening for 6 weeks, prior to being accepted as mentors. They come from all walks of life and are mixed ages.  They are allocated a client, whose suitability has been checked. Clients only know their mentors first name, not any other personal details or their address. Mentors are provided with a mobile phone to use with clients.

CCN invite us to support them. We the Church, as the Kingdom of God here on earth are needed to give -financially, in resources and support through prayer.

Please pray for the work of CCN in East Anglia for Rev Susan Carne, the clients and mentors. Please pray also for the Chaplaincy team working within the prisons.

Giving resources; 

Men’s clothing items, shoes always needed. A charity shop has been established at reception at Norwich prison. This provides serving prisoners with work experience and clothing for men on their release.

Financial support.

Could you donate regularly?

Can you donate to either of two funds?

Firstly, an employment fund-

Susan wants to fundraise for a client who needs driving lessons to enable him to take up a job offer of a specialist bio hazard cleaner, which he was trained for whilst in Wayland Prison.

Secondly an Emergency Bed and Breakfast fund for clients on release if there is no accommodation available.

Volunteering as a mentor.  Do you think this could be for you? The next training course starts on April 9 at 7, for a 7.15pm start, at Sprowston Methodist Church.

 

For further details contact Rev Susan Carne on 07645 428456 or via comm.chap.norf@hotmail.com

 

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