Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Helping ex-Prisoners Monday 12th July 2010

The Clerk, Adele Thorpe, and I attended the AGM of the Sheriffs' & Recorder's Fund, a charity based at the Old Bailey set up to provide support to ex-prisoners and their families. It took place in Number One Court and was attended by both Sheriffs, 40+ Livery Company Masters and others from the City who support the charity.

Typically they give small grants of money to pay for retraining, new clothes for someone leaving prison in the same clothes they went in with, tools of their new "straight" trade, basic furniture etc. Last year they made more than 900 small grants and they pride themselves on turning around requests quickly.

Some stories from beneficiaries:

"JH received a grant to purchase a washing machine which has made a big difference to her life. She had previously been doing the washing for her four children and herself in the bath."

"Your generous gift enabled me to replace my lost driving licence and purchase much needed clothes. I have now gained employment and am reintegrating back into mainstream society."

We were privileged to hear the story of one beneficiary who had been in and out of jail on drug-related crimes since the age of 12, was then sent to rehab and has now been clear of drugs and crime for 18 months.

The Marketors' Trust supports this charity as one of its "regulars". I'm glad.

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