Our team working in HMP Doncaster have successfully supported another group of people leaving prison during the Christmas and New Year period. Our Departure Lounge, set up in the prison foyer, aims to make release day easier and provides support with:
- organising benefits
- substance misuse
- food vouchers, packed lunches and warm drinks to all releases
- clothing, including Suits, coats, shoes and everyday casual wear
- mobile phones if the service user needs to make contact with their probation officer or accommodation provider
- a place for family members to wait for their loved ones being released
All 11 releases on Christmas Eve required support, which we provided successfully as well as offering Christmas items, like cake, treats and gifts for the service user’s family members. We also partnered with other organisations, including the South Yorkshire transport police who were involved in supporting service users with travel, Aspire to ensure all prescriptions were in place for the Christmas period, and DWP to support with benefit claims. Throughout the whole month of December, our Departure Lounge supported 91.81% of all releases from HMP Doncaster. We hope that this success will continue in the future and the Departure Lounge will continue to grow to be the hub for partners and the community to attend to support our prison releases.