The Bishop of Shrewsbury cut the yellow ribbon at the launch of a new venue for a local charity that helps change the lives of people leaving prison.
Yellow Ribbon Community Chaplaincy provides support for people on release from prison in Staffordshire, West Midlands, Shropshire and Worcester, through one-to-one mentoring, guidance and practical help. Its volunteers work with people seeking change in their lives so that they do not return to prison, meeting clients in prison and continuing their relationship with them on release.
Two projects set up by Yellow Ribbon in 2016 have been brought under one roof in Riverside Shopping Centre, Shrewsbury, in a new venue that was officially opened on Tuesday, 31 October.
The first project is the Re:Cre@tion caf which offers a safe haven for Yellow Ribbon clients who find isolation a challenge, enabling them to develop confidence in a working environment by providing volunteering opportunities. The other is Restore Project which provides a restoring and upcycling furniture course for up to 32 people a year who are at risk of re-offending along with a shop that sells furniture and offers further volunteering chances.
The Bishop of Shrewsbury, the Rt Revd Mark Rylands, said: At the heart of the good news of Christianity is a hope that life can be changed for the better by a God who tips the balance in favour of those who struggle. The cycle of offending and re-offending is not easy to break, but the staff and volunteers at Yellow Ribbon are playing a crucial role in transforming peoples lives and benefiting society as a result.
Clients and volunteers were joined at the opening by local church leaders and guests from probation, integrated offender management, prisons, police crime commissioning staff, the local council and other charities at the launch.
Yellow Ribbon Director Pauline Mack said: It is fantastic to have both of our projects under one roof at the Riverside Shopping Centre.
Established in 2013, Yellow Ribbon works with mainly short-sentenced prisoners, seeking to be the bridge between prison and the community. It also works with landlords and housing associations to find housing for people coming out of prison.
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