In recognition of the work and dedication of volunteers and International Volunteer Day on 5 December, Manawatu Prison will be holding a concert put together by prisoners.
The event will thank the 130 registered volunteers who work in a variety of areas, including Sunday chapel services, one on one remedial reading, and Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society workers who help with reintegration and restorative justice programmes.
Prisoners from the Alpha Unit, a Christian faith based unit, will be performing various songs and items to celebrate the work of volunteers and also to acknowledge the Christmas season. Afternoon tea will be served for the volunteers, made and prepared by the prisoners.
“This is the third year running that prisoners in the Alpha Unit have put on a concert for volunteers as part of International Volunteer Day to thank them for their time and commitment. All of the planning and writing for the concert production has come from the prisoners themselves,” says Manawatu Prison Chaplin Graeme Bates.
"The Alpha Unit provides a supportive environment to enable and encourage the men in the unit to change. We run Christian based programmes that are all about changes in principles, values and attitudes. Volunteers provide a variety of constructive activities for prisoners, including literacy and communication development skills.
"Prisoners in the Unit really value the existence of a diverse and energetic pool of volunteers who work with them. They bring a community perspective to our services and contribute towards helping offenders to positively return to the community when they are released.
“The prisoners are incredibly grateful to the volunteers because they realise that there are people in the community who are prepared to give their time and efforts to help them and not reject them. The hundreds of hours that these individuals have given to the prisoners to help them as part of the rehabilitation and reintegration processes is a great benefit to society as a key tool in reducing re-offending,” says Mr Bates.
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