Monday, 15 June 2015

Edinburgh Prison Visitors Centre

The Edinburgh Reporter blog shared the story of how we’re working with the Scottish Prison Service and Police Scotland to ensure HMP Edinburgh is a welcoming environment for visiting children.

The initiative has been developed as part of HMP Edinburgh’s community engagement strategy, whereby The Salvation Army delivers daily services to focus on building a rapport between children and police staff through interactive activities such as arts and crafts.

As part of our work, we aim to encourage and facilitate dialogue between those who are visiting HMP Edinburgh and police officers, and raise awareness of the rights and responsibilities of both communities.

The children were given opportunities to dress-up, learn about police cars, and meet representatives from other emergency services such as fire and ambulance. Prison dogs Buck and Ollie, who work with their owner at HMP Edinburgh, proved particularly popular!

Our Edinburgh Visitors’ Centre Co-ordinator, Kerry Watson, said: “We set out to break down the barriers and that has worked really well, we are confident that the children and their families have experienced a really positive fun day with community police and our friends in the Fire Service.”

She added: “This important educational initiative, identified through our parenting project at the centre, has gone a long way to reverse some of the negative comments we heard about the emergency services, our aim will be to continue to invest in this work and have similar days every six weeks.”

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