Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Helping Ex-prisoners

Last night was the AGM of the Sheriffs' and Recorder's Fund held in the Central Criminal Court. The Court room was packed to hear not only the AGM but also the guest speaker Baroness Hale. The fund, of which we are consistent supporters,was created 200 years ago by two Sheriffs who were shocked at the horrors of Newgate prison. So they started a fund to help inmates and their destitute families with food, clothing and grants to make a new life when they left prison. The fund has always relied on the generosity of individual and corporate donations.
The AGM was interesting for the light it threw on the Fund's current activities. With a total income of £179,376 the majority, £161,221 was spent on charitable activities. These activities were in the main small grants to individuals to help them get back on their feet. 1,040 grants in total were given for anything from clothing, tools of the trade to educational/skills based courses. Helping ex-prisoners in this way helps reduce re-offending, relieves hardship and gives people an opportunity for a new start. The Sheriffs' and Recorder's Fund is a remarkable City institution doing good in a simple way for over 200 years.

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