The FOPP summer outing was enjoyed by all those who were able to attend, despite the rain cutting the intended walk around the boating lake a little short. Nevertheless, the party decamped to the Boathouse for drinks and a naughty treat from the puddings menu. The Bramley apple pie achieved particularly high praise from two of the party! These events are always a nice way to catch up and chat with some of those volunteers who we don’t normally get to see because of our differing volunteering patterns. The next such event will be our Christmas dinner, so keep your eyes peeled for further details in due course.
As you may have seen from our website, we have recently been seeking a new Tea Bar Assistant to join us as a permanent paid member of staff. The recruitment process took longer than expected but we are absolutely delighted to have found our ideal candidate, Wendy, who starts with us today. After an initial training period, Wendy will take responsibility for all aspects of the day to day running of the Tea Bar that provides such a vital service to those coming to visit people in prison, and to legal and other professionals who are here to provide help and support to those in custody.
On behalf of all the directors of FOPP, we welcome Wendy to our team and wish her every success in her new role.
We are excited to confirm that our volunteers will be resuming their activities in the Education departments from the beginning of July. Volunteering in other areas of the prison will follow soon after. Full details on our Coronavirus and FOPP page.
Historically, it has been the policy of Friends Of Peterborough Prison (FOPP) to use the term “residents” when referring to prisoners, in line with the practice among officers and staff within the prison.
Following direction from Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), from 16th May 2022 prison officers and staff have been instructed to use the terminology “prisoners”, “people in prison” and/or “offenders” rather than “residents”.
After consideration by FOPP directors, it has been decided that we will use the same terminology as that adopted within the prison. You may notice minor changes to our website as we begin to introduce the revised terminology.
This change is purely one of terminology. Our values of impartiality, respect, safety, decency and diversity remain unchanged, along with our policy of being non-judgemental.
Today, 11th May 2022, a notice on the Sodexo prison website announced the removal of virtually all COVID-19 restrictions from social visits. Social distancing and face masks are no longer required for social visits. This applies to families, significant others, other visitors, prisoners and staff.
You can read the full statement by expanding the item dated 11th May 2022 on our Lockdown in Prison page.
We are delighted to announce that FOPP staff and volunteers have re-opened the Tea Bar in the Visitor Centre today, 19th April 2022, after an enforced closure of almost 25 months due to the COVID pandemic. The directors of FOPP are working hard to make sure that our normal volunteering roles inside the secure areas of the prison will also be reinstated as soon as possible.
Following an absence of a formal meeting last year because of the Coronavirus restrictions, we were delighted to hold our Annual Meeting in person again this year. The meeting was held in the Learning and Development Centre at the prison, with the familiar masks/social distancing precautions in place. We were treated to a much anticipated update from the prison Director, Mr. Damian Evans, explaining how the pandemic has impacted the normal prison routine and how this has affected those in his care.
There was good news for FOPP as Mr. Evans confirmed that he was keen to get our volunteers back in the prison to resume their usual roles as soon as possibly practical. FOPP directors are now actively working with the prison management towards this goal. It was also made clear that re-opening the Tea Bar in the Visitor Centre is seen as a priority.
As it is so long since we have been allowed into the establishment, all volunteers were reminded of our responsibility to maintain confidentiality, and our attention was drawn to the Confidentiality Agreement that we all sign on becoming accepted as a volunteer. The pertinent part of the document reads as follows:
I agree that I will not divulge any confidential information to anybody unless authorised to do so. This authority would come from the person sharing the confidential information unless it would lead to the harm of others or themselves or compromise the security of the establishment. All Volunteers should ensure that no discussion relating to individual users of the service takes place.
I will give no statements to any outside agencies, including the press or social media, about anything concerning the prison, staff, visitors or volunteers.
Copies of our Annual Report and Financial Accounts can be found on the Reports page in our Members’ Area.
On the afternoon of Tuesday 20th July 2021, FOPP volunteers were able to meet up in person for the first time since before the Coronavirus pandemic appeared. On a hot, rather humid day, the group met for the usual drinks and cakes (actually, puddings on this occasion!) sitting on the terrace of the Boathouse pub/restaurant. Fortunately, we were all able to find tables with sunshades, which served as umbrellas when a threatened thunderstorm briefly sprinkled us with a few drops of cooling rain. After a good long chat and face-to-face catch-up with friends, those with the energy rounded off the afternoon by taking a gentle stroll through the woods alongside the rowing lake.
We hope to arrange our next group gathering in October. This is usually a formal FOPP meeting where we discuss FOPP finances, introduce new volunteers and have a briefing on prison matters from the Prison Director. This year, as FOPP volunteers have still not been able to go into the prison, we may opt for a rather more informal format. Further details to follow nearer the time.
Sodexo announced today that HMP Peterborough is taking part in a pilot scheme called “Test & Hug”, which will allow residents to embrace visitors as long as they both test negative for Covid-19 on the day of the visit. The full statement from Sodexo is available to view on our Lockdown in Prison page.
An announcement on the Sodexo official prison website today explains that the prison will not be lifting restrictions on July 19th in the same way as in the rest of the community. The full text of the announcement can be seen on our Lockdown in Prison page.