I have recently delivered two workshops in HMP Styal. It was memorable in the most positive way possible and I felt proud. Very proud in fact.
I was made welcome by both the staff and the ladies spending their time there.
During lunch, I walked over to the prison's visiting centre run by POPS. I needed a locker for my belongings and whilst waiting for a key, I met an amazing person. His name is David and he volunteers his time assisting families who come along to visit their loved ones in prison. Believe me, not many people reduce me to tears but this gentleman touched my heart.
I've been there, worn the t-shirt and dried it back out again when it comes to visiting someone in prison and the first time as a visitor is a daunting one. There are multiple emotions running through your head and I for one remember being absolutely petrified. It's the not knowing, it's the do's, the don'ts, the what if's and often the why's. I remember my first prison visit well. It was back in 2005.
My daughter at the time was just 18 months old and all I wanted was reassurance and that 'someone' to say, "Everything will be fine".
The reason I am writing this piece is because it is deserved. The level of professionalism, compassion, support and advice provided by POP's at HMP Styal was outstanding. The visitors centre is everything a visitors centre should be and thank you David for all you do.
Prison Widow UK