Hull Prison wants volunteers to help visitors' crèche
A CHARITY providing a crèche service for Hull prison visitors is looking for more volunteers.
The Pre-school Learning Alliance is seeking people to help with its Prison Play Centres Project.
The crèche, which has been running since 1994, aims to reduce the emotional impact of prison visits on children by letting them play in safe surroundings.
Gerard Rowbotham, operations manager at the charity's Humber and York sub-committee, said: "Working as a volunteer for the Prison Play Centres Project is a richly rewarding experience, as you know you are helping to change lives.
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"The successes can be measured by the high retention rate of volunteers, who return year after year, by the awards the group has been presented and last but not least by the smiles on the children's faces.
"We would encourage anyone thinking of becoming a prison volunteer to contact us."
The idea for a play centre came when a taxi driver told the alliance there was no facility for children at HMP Hull.
The Mothers' Union and the sub-committee formed a partnership to tackle the problem.
Further funding later came from the Prison Service.
Staff and volunteers involved won the Duke of York's Community Initiative Award in April 2010.
Volunteers find the service rewarding.
One said: "When I tell people where I volunteer, their response is, 'well, that must be hard work – those children must be very demanding'.
"And yes, some of them are, and others are shy, funny, helpful, inquisitive, sad or any number of other things any child is."
For more information, e-mail project manager Kim Rheinberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 01482 229859.