Donna King's Recent Activity
"New Bridge delivers a Befriending Service. Many prisoners do not receive any letters or visits. Most of us need someone to talk things over with - someone we can trust, who doesn't put labels on us, talks straight, stays in touch and doesn't make promises they can't keep. Our Befriending Service aims to support people in prison, by establishing and maintaining contact through letter writing and visiting.
We work at HMP YOI Low Newton. The Learning Shop, which commenced in 2004, is unique in English prisons, no other project aims to improve women's mental health and well being through learning. The Learning Shop provides a safe, calm, stress free welcoming and supportive environment which helps some of the most vulnerable prisoners in the country grow in confidence and develop life skills.
The Learning Shop provides an intimate and supportive atmosphere for reluctant and fragile learners, in particular learners with mental health issues and self harm as well as vulnerable prisoners. A high degree of support is available and time is given to individual learners.
Staff and volunteers offer support and guidance with a focus on raising self confidence and self esteem, breaking down any barriers to learning. The Learning Shop also provides a facility for those engaged in learning throughout the prison, from work place learners, to Open University Students.
Our London Through The Gate project commenced in April 2008 and was originally funded by the Big Lottery Fund to develop the befriending services in London, specifically helping short term prisoners with the transition back to life in the community.
Short-term prisoners are often repeat offenders and can often accumulate a significant amount of time in custody, going round the revolving door. In 2010 The National Audit Office reported that at any one time, short-sentenced prisoners account for about 9 per cent of the total prison population and some 65 per cent of all sentenced admissions and releases."
Reply To: Women, homelessness and the criminal justice system