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Speakers and volunteers will tell of their Belief in Change

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 21, 2012

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A PROJECT which helps prisoners lead a law-abiding life after they've served their time is the focus of Teignbridge Citizens' Advice Bureau's annual meeting.

Keynote speakers and volunteers will highlight the work of the Belief in Change programme at HMP Channings Wood near Denbury.

Teignbridge CAB is involved in the project being run at the category C prison.

Belief in Change highlights the importance of changing the offender's view of life and encourages them to take responsibility for their future by giving them skills they can use once they are released.

Channings Wood is one of two pilot programmes across the country.

The programme runs for one year and those taking part are offered the opportunity to be supported in the community for up to one year post release.

The project is funded until next March and the bureau is encouraging the prison service to find a small amount of funding to keep the service going into the new financial year.

CAB manager Ken Pickering said: "I attended the Belief in Change launch early in the year and was shocked at how little joined up support there was for offenders when they leave prison.

"I felt CAB should be involved if at all possible. We managed to get some one-off funding to support a small team of CAB volunteers to deliver basic financial skills to pre-release prisoners. So far, the project has been a great success."

Sue Witt, reintegration manager at Channings Wood, will be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting.

Other speakers include Penny Simpson, a prison visitor, and volunteers working on the project.

The meeting takes place at Newton Abbot Recreation Trust, Marsh Road, Newton Abbot, at 6.45pm on October 2. All are welcome.

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