Tuesday 18th October 2011
The Family Day for close relatives and friends of prison inmates, which was held at the UCKG HelpCentre in Finsbury Park on Saturday October 15, was well supported. Over 50 attendees were eager to learn how to cope better when a family member is in prison and sharing experiences was an important part of the proceedings.
The event was run by the UCKG HelpCentre’s Rescue Of Dignity (ROD) group, which supports prisoners throughout the UK by means of visits and regular letter writing and helps their families by means of briefings.
Charles Ajorgbor, the organiser and leader of the ROD group, introduced a programme of videos and discussions. Role-play was used to address some of the more important issues and bring them to life in order to connect with the audience, and attendees found this particularly helpful. However the highlight was a presentation by a former, and now reformed, prison inmate.
Serena Mullings, who served two sentences for drug related offences said: “It’s very stressful being in prison and to make matters worse, it’s not just about the inmate. In effect everyone in the family is doing the sentence – the parents, the children and other close relatives as well as the offender.”
Following her release Serena heard about the ROD group and subsequently became a member. She said: “I really admire the support the ROD group gives. Prisons are located all over the country and it can be difficult for families to visit, so it’s especially good that these volunteers take time to travel considerable distances to see and talk with prisoners they do not, initially, know.
“You are supported and come out feeling confident and lighter. You may be in a bad place at the moment but there are people willing to help you get things back together.”
Charles Ajorgbor concluded by thanking everyone for their attendance and invited the audience to contact him if they know of any offenders that they would like the ROD group to contact.
If you or someone you know is affected by the imprisonment of a family member or close friend please call the 24-hours helpline on 0870 0682 000 or visit our website uckgnew.org for more information.
Note to editors
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are 39 UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.
Rescue Of Dignity (ROD) is a community group setup by the UCKG and is run by volunteers to provide support to prisoners throughout the UK by means of prison visits and regular letter writing. It also runs occasional seminars for prisoners’ families.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7686 6033.