Emma Kershaw and Heather Greaves 2020
Emma joined the Family Resettlement Team at HMP Preston and Lancaster Farms last year, completing casework and assessments once a week. When lockdown started, Emma continued her volunteering efforts, increasing her time given to 5 days a week, all while raising 3 young children at home! She delivered workshops online and offered support to service users over the phone, supporting one service user to regain contact with his young child. Emma has made great relationships with agencies such as Shelter, Minds Matter and the Probation Service. One probation officer describes her as swift and proactive and that her knowledge helps to keep cases moving and come to a quick resolution. Emma is truly passionate about the work she does and the support she gives to service users.
Heather has been a Family Support Worker at HMP Onley for a number of years and is an extremely valued member of the team. Her commitment to the visiting families is second to none and she is always a welcoming face to families old and new. Heather’s understanding of the needs of families going through the struggle of having a loved one in prison enables her to give support and guidance on practical and emotional issues. During the pandemic, it was uncertain whether Heather would continue her role due to her age, but she said that “our families need us now more than ever” and has continued her role at the visitor centre. She has been vital in helping families, especially children, understand and feel comfortable with the new rules so that they can get the most out of their visit.