Marsh Unsung Heroes Award

This Award is run in partnership with PACT and recognises a long-term volunteer who has gone above and beyond in their role and commitment, but who has never sought any recognition for their work.

Nominations are put forward from colleagues across the organisation and are judged by a panel of PACT staff and representatives from the MCT.

 

In 2021, the number of awards was increased to recognise 6 regional volunteers working in pacts services across the UK.

Alice Ketley, Mark Judd, Camilla Albery, Lisa Taylor, Grace Mitchelmore an Jess Tooley 2021

  • Central Office 

Alice Ketley, Communications Officer 

Alice started volunteering for the communications team in April 2021 and her enthusiastic and positive attitude makes her a joy to have around, albeit virtually due to coronavirus restrictions. She is willing to try her hand at anything that gets thrown her way. She is dedicated and consistent, and produces a very high standard of work, which is invaluable in such a fast-paced and high-stakes environment. Alice is also creative and contributes ideas to the team, which helps to make them the best that they can be. She volunteers around 2 to 3 hours a week and her role is wide and varied. Alice drafts social media content, writes stories for PACT’s website, researches the latest developments in the criminal justice system and designs marketing materials.  

  • West Midlands 

Mark Judd, CF03 Mentor 

Mark is a mentoring volunteer with PACT’s CF03 project, working with some of the hardest to reach prisoners on anything from basic life skills and hygiene up to low-level qualifications which will give them a chance of success when they are released from prison. He has made a huge impact with the service users he has volunteered with, particularly his most recent service user. When they were first matched, the service user had an issue with engagement and spoke negatively about anyone in a position of authority, but Mark built a rapport with him and has had over 50 sessions with him, enabling the service user to speak more positively about those in authority and recognise that they are only trying to help. Throughout the pandemic, Mark has provided telephone support to service users, as well as volunteering with the ‘Through the Gate’ project where he meets service users as they are released to help them back into society. Mark has given a total of 548 hours of volunteering over the last 2 and a half years. 

  • Wales, South and Cheshire 

Camilla Albery, Family Services, Helpline and Befriending Services, HMP Bristol 

Camilla is a valued member of the team, with her cool, calm and collected attitude which radiates positivity to service users in an already stressful environment. Her vast amount of knowledge and ability to calmly communicate with stressed or upset people makes visitors to the prison feel at ease. Camilla volunteers 2 times a week with the Family Services team and uses her leadership qualities to help support and develop other volunteers. She joined the Befriending team in August 2020 and has shown exceptional commitment and dedication to this role. Camilla supports with the running of prison visits, speaking to visitors on arrival and getting to the bottom of any problems that they might have. She is also involved with peer support groups, has supported PACT’s helpline to provide support to those with a loved one in prison. Camilla lives in Devon and so travels over an hour to be able to volunteer at the Bristol services, which further demonstrates her commitment. 

  • National Services 

Lisa Taylor, Prisoners’ Families Helpline 

Lisa has made a big impact on the helpline since she started volunteering in December 2020. Since then, she has given 9 hours a week to her volunteering and is extremely reliable, which makes a huge difference to the level of service that the helpline is able to offer. Lisa answers calls from family members or friends who have a loved one in prison, offering advice and guidance to them during a difficult time. She is always willing to help out wherever she can and has also volunteered for Pact at Belmarsh prison. Her role here was put on hold due to Covid, which is why she took on the role at the helpline, demonstrating her commitment to helping those who need her support. 

  • North, East Midlands and East of England 

Grace Mitchelmore, HMP Nottingham Family Services 

The main role of Pact at HMP Nottingham is within the Visitor Centre and the volunteers provide support with booking in visitors, administration, security audits and public protection. Grace has been a key member of the team throughout the Covid visiting period, giving visitors the correct guidance and support when they come to the prison. She has also been involved in a Covid testing pilot scheme, which has been really important to visitors who want to have contact with their loved ones. She takes her role seriously and has had a big impact on visitors to the prison. Grace is always on time and willing to work extra days where she is needed. She has been volunteering since July 2020 and has given 30 hours a week to volunteering at the prison. 

  • London and the South East 

Jess Tooley, Family Engagement Worker, HMP Belmarsh  

Jess began volunteering with Pact in 2018 at the age of 18, with no experience but a passion for the prison service and helping those affected by imprisonment. Over the last 3 and half years she has contributed to Pact in a wide variety of roles. She has wrapped and sorted hundreds of presents for children with a parent in prison, supported prisoners through casework, provided refreshments in the visitors’ centre, supported the helpline during lockdown and has been part of a group who produced a newsletter to inform visitors and families of any changes to the service. Jess comes to her volunteering with a big smile on her face and a positive attitude to start the day. She is always willing to help with any task and is a highly valued member of the team

Previous Winners

Emma Kershaw and Heather Greaves

Emma Kershaw

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 Greaves 

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. 

 

Watch the Awards Presentation here: https://zoom.us/rec/play/DbAcoNM9dEHKAqldhiBvXcfCOChndFKiaLM6-8gqfs3GmVxcgUfnTwxtREUlqVgeOgRtG2aLr1Z5Ik8C.MVhNYUbsRNzXiTPg?continueMode=true&_x_zm_rtaid=-QweT3GRTveBXKWrydpx5Q.1605181138418.1d8305c8e3deba8a9ecf4f0a4458c800&_x_zm_rhtaid=112