Tonight I was invited to an event at Mansion House, hosted by Clinks and the Lord Mayor. The event was billed as an informative, lively and engaging evening with presentations and demonstrations of life-changing work from those working in criminal justice charities, and we were not disappointed. The evening commenced with a champagne reception with canapés where I was able to mingle with the many other Masters present and the charity volunteers.
Following a welcome by the Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor and Anne Fox, the Chief Executive of Clinks, we were treated to an amazing session by two actors from No Place Productions in which they simulated a prison visit and the difficulties encountered by couples affected by drugs and violence. It was very life-like and gave the audience a real sense of the problems faced by people in prison and their families. These sessions are played to real inmates and they have a therapeutic effect as they enable the prisoners to talk about their problems through the medium of the actors.
We also saw a wonderful presentation, Turning Pages, by the Shannon Trust, who support prisoners by teaching them to read and write, opening up the world of education and giving them the opportunity to change.
There were also presentations from the Cambridge Women's Resources Centre who provide much needed outreach and wellbeing events to women who street sex work in Peterborough's red light district, and from Project 507 who work with young people whose lives are physically, psychologically or emotionally harmful to themselves and others.
Following the presentations we were able to visit all the wonderful stands from many different charities who work so successfully with serving and released prisoners, charities ranging from small, local volunteer run groups, to large national organisations. This was an exceptional event at which I gained a real insight into what these wonderful charities achieve with very little resource but with a great deal of commitment and determination. Another very worthwhile evening.