A CHARITY supporting the friends and families of prisoners in the North-East is looking for new volunteers.

Nepacs, which works with more than 200,000 visitors to North-East prisons each year, needs new volunteers to support people at HMP Durham’s visitor centre.

The prison is becoming a reception centre for prisoners on remand, awaiting sentencing or serving short sentences which means Nepacs will be offering more visit sessions to families.

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Volunteer coordinator Emma Price said: “The impact of imprisonment on children and families can be devastating and visiting court or prison for the first time can be quite difficult and sometimes distressing. Our volunteers offer a warm welcome and someone to chat to, which is particularly important at HMP Durham where many people are going into the unknown and are facing a place and situation they may never have thought they would ever be.”

Volunteering opportunities include helping to run their tea bar, providing a warm welcome, support and information, helping to run play areas and assisting with Nepac’s family support programme.

The charity is particularly looking for people who can volunteer at the weekend, covering shifts of around four hours.

Call 0191 3757278 or email volunteering@nepacs.co.uk for further details.