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House Magazine article about Sue Ryder Prison Volunteer Programme Parliamentary Reception

17 December 2012

Sue Ryder

Read the article about the Prison Volunteer Programme, which appeared in the 13 December issue of House Magazine.  House Magazine is Parliament's own dedicated magazine and each edition is delivered to every MP and peer directly.

A recent Parliamentary Reception was hosted by health and social care charity, Sue Ryder, on 13 December.

The event, which was attended by Prisons and Rehabilitation Minister Jeremy Wright, was held in the House of Lords, and celebrated the success of Sue Ryder’s Prison Volunteer Programme, which has just been awarded the prestigious 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award.  

The programme supports the rehabilitation and resettlement of currently serving offenders into wider society by providing volunteering placements in Sue Ryder shops and offices.  Prisoners reaching the end of their custodial sentence are released on temporary licence in order for them to take part.Prison volunteers provide invaluable support for Sue Ryder, without which the charity could not continue to run its’ 400 shops which raise vital income needed to provide care and support to 16,400 people each year.    The nationally-run programme has provided volunteering placements to over 700 prisoners from over 50 prisons since 2006.It is expected that this year alone, Sue Ryder’s prison volunteers will provide 100,000 hours of work, the equivalent of £626,000. 

At the event Paul Woodward, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder said: “We are very proud to be the only UK charity running a prison volunteer programme on a national scale. We want to build upon the success of this programme by calling for more organisations to work with us to provide the opportunity for a vulnerable section of society to make a valuable contribution.”

The Sue Ryder programme is as an excellent example of how partnership between the third sector and public sector can be of benefit to wider society.  Her Majesty’s Prison Service has been working with Sue Ryder to provide offenders with opportunities to regain valuable skills to great effect.  Offenders taking part have been deterred from re-offending and some have gone on to secure paid jobs. We must build upon this award winning partnership and secure funding to continue the scheme beyond 2015, when existing funding will come to an end. 

Lord Patel of Bradford is a Labour Peer