Team members from Yellow Ribbon will soon be running a Marathon in support of the Samaritans and mental health. As commented in other recent news items – this has been mental health awareness week, and here at Yellow Ribbon mental health something we take very seriously. So much so, we felt we should help to support it more widely. Why?? Well, its a shocking fact, but the national office of statistics reports that male prisoners are around 4 times more likely to take their own life whilst in custody than national average. Self harm, depression and anxiety are still massive problems within the prison system (especially now under the current Coronavirus regime). For many these problems do not just go away when they walk through the gate. Their problems are really only just beginning when they re-enter society due to negative public perceptions, difficulties in finding work, securing housing, building trust and support networks and generally in adjusting to what is now a very different world. Here at Yellow Ribbon one of our most fundamental goals is building hope, providing support, and saving lives. It is what we do, day in, day out. And there is always some hope to […]
This week (18th – 24th May) is “Mental Health Week”. [Edit:: Link to documents updated 21/05/2020 – NewsDesk] Many of our clients leave prison with some issues of depression or anxiety, and the extended period of lockdown and social isolation has been a difficult time for them. We have published various updates and mental health support info over the last few weeks, specifically in relation to the negative effects on mental health and overall wellbeing that coronavirus and the enforced lockdown brings. It is one of our daily briefing main topics. And we have reported our increased the frequency of welfare calls and use video links to our client houses when we can to help with improved face to face contact. Mental health and client wellbeing during this period has been of paramount importance to us, and probably our single biggest challenge during Covid-19. So, we are pleased to note this week that to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, Shropshire Council’s public health team has created a mental health resources guide to help support people’s mental health and wellbeing, through the coronavirus situation, which we will be making available to any of our clients who would find it useful. […]
An interview with Andy Partridge – Head of Operations at Yellow Ribbon There can be no downplaying the impact that the Coronavirus has had on everyone the world over right now. The news is often filled with reports of how peoples lives, their businesses and ways of working have been massively impacted by the restrictions needed to help control spread of the pandemic. I asked have asked Andy Partridge, Head of operations here at Yellow Ribbon a few questions to give a little insight into the challenges and changes we have faced during this period. ‘From your perspective as Head of operations Andy, what has been the biggest challenge of Covid-19 for the charity?‘ “No eye contact with clients has been the biggest challenge. You get so much out of a conversation with eye contact and being able to read body language.” And from conversations with other team members and keyworkers this has been a point which has been echoed frequently. Our mentoring system involves working closely with the clients. Building trust and improving their levels of confidence in honest communication is a vital part of the recovery and support process. Although we have worked hard to remain in close […]
As we have mentioned in several news items, there are plans to release early some prisoners who are near to the end of their sentence to assist in reducing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the prison system. To date there has been a very limited number of prisoners who have actually been released under this scheme, and this is perhaps due to in part to the fairly complex criteria involved in assessing those eligible for release. Pact (the Prison Advice and Care Trust) – a charity that provides support to prisoners, people with convictions, and their families. has published a fairly comprehensive outline of the criteria for ECTR which answers the following questions: Are people in prison being released early? Who cannot be released early? Who can be released early? What about the release of children and young people? Is there anything else to consider? Who decides who might be suitable for release? If a prisoner meets all these standards, do they get automatically released? How will prisoners find out about their release? Is End of Custody Temporary Release (ECTR) the same across all prisons? What are the conditions of End of Custody Temporary Release (ECTR)? How will […]
Inside time the prison magazine reports : With prisoners across the UK locked up in their cells, a lot of books will be read. And one book, in particular, is proving popular – because prisons are bulk-buying it to hand out free on the wings. Unconscious Incarceration is a self-help book that encourages the reader to examine their selfish habits, make a change and turn their life around. inside time : https://insidetime.org/self-help-book-handed-out-in-jails/ The book itself is based on the Dickens book A Christmas Carol, and features a heroin addict who receives three visitors who force him to stop and re-examine his past life, and to look at building a new brighter future for himself. We are sure that there will be inmates who perhaps do take the message this book hold to heart, and will draw from it to start taking the positive steps needed to turn their lives around. We know this to be the case, because those are the people we help every single day here at YR. People who want to turn their lives around, people who understand how their lives have gone wrong and want to begin to do something positive.
The team here at Yellow Ribbon have been working hard to ensure that we maintain a high level of support for our clients during the Covid-19 Lockdown period. Our latest response to the challenge has been the re-purposing of donated out-dated IT equipment to bring high-quality video calling to our houses. Many of us have grown used to the idea of video calls and remote working as part of our daily lives now, and over the last few weeks the IT department here at YR have been working to roll out our own secure version of this technology to our client houses. We at Yellow Ribbon are very conscious of the effect we have on our world through over consumption and hate things going to waste. We believe very much in recycling, reuse and re-purposing of as many things as possible and IT equipment is no exception. We have been working on developing a method of using some of the older (obsolete windows 7 spec) laptops which we have had donated as a secure video conferencing platform which allows the team here to make frequent calls to the houses to ensure client wellbeing and to make sure that social distancing […]
People often ask how they can help Yellow Ribbon with our work, and the answer is that really there are a number of ways. We list just a few in our ‘Get Involved‘ section. But right now what we are really short of is: Bath towels Single and double bedding (Any plain colours would be ideal) If you have any that you can donate please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We can arrange collection as our offices are currently closed due to the lockdown. If you are in a position to offer us food parcels or have any left over produce that would go to waste the guys in our houses would certainly welcome them. For most of the guys we support there will be a number of weeks between their leaving prison and first payment of any benefits. Many leave prison with nothing. The smallest things mean so much to them. We would also welcome donations of: Tidy mens clothing and shoes. Toiletries etc. Mobile phones (working with charger) – essential to stay in touch with us and probation services etc Old Laptops (as long as working with charger – we can re-purpose for education / training courses […]
The UK prison population has fallen by at least 3,700 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, due to courts being closed and police making fewer arrests. Recently published official figure show a reduction of nearly 4000 people currently held in UK prisons. This figure however is down to the reduction of arrests and court closures rather than being as a result of the previously announced early release schemes put in place to combat the current coronavirus situation. Explaining the reduction in prison numbers, Lord Keen (Ministry of Justice spokesman in the House of Lords), commented in debate on April 23: “There has been a fall in the prison population due to the upstream changes in law enforcement and court activity.” In fact at the time of reviewing the figure for this article only 30 people have been released early from prisons under the early release scheme. This is a far cry from the 4000 that was previously stated would be the target figure. Reports from within our local prisons paint a grim picture of current prison life under the lockdown conditions right now, and an early release for those who we are due to work with in the community […]