Prince Edward celebrates Duke of Edinburgh's Award success at Bridgend Prison

  • 30 Sep 2016 16:44
PrinceEdwardcelebratesDukeofEdinburghsawardatBridgendprison

His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex visited G4S-managed HMP Parc in Bridgend this week to see first-hand the difference The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) makes to the lives of prisoners and their children.

The Family Intervention Unit at Parc has developed a unique programme with the DofE in Wales and since 2014 has taught groups of prisoners the leadership skills that will allow them to mentor their own children through the DofE programme. To date ten prisoners have been awarded the Certificate in DofE Leadership.

As part of the training the prisoners lead their own children in achieving their DofE Awards. The young people complete the sections of the DofE in the prison setting under the supervision of trained staff and also in the local community. The activities can range from cooking to football coaching or even helping in a local charity shop. To date, six children of prisoners have completed their Bronze DofE Award with a further five completing sectional certificates for the Skills & Physical sections.

There is overwhelming evidence which shows that strengthening and maintaining family ties for prisoners has a significant impact on reoffending rates. Prisoners unable to maintain ties are up to six times more likely to re-offend within the first year of release when compared with those who do.  The Ministry of Justice for England and Wales’s resettlement survey in 2008 found that offenders who received at least one visit during their time in custody were 38 per cent less likely to re-offend than those who received no visits at all.

One of the prisoners commented:

“Taking part in the programme brought me and my son much closer together and has been great fun at the same time. Spending time with my son, in the kitchen learning to cook or in the gym teaching him basketball, you forget that you are in prison and lets us feel like a normal father and son.” 

Corin Morgan-Armstrong, Head of Family Interventions said;

“The unique DofE programme we run at Parc allows fathers and their children to both take part in award and develop strong, positive relationships. The best thing about this programme is the impact it has had on families.

“It has been a joy to see fathers who had really shut off their emotions when it came to their children, connect with them, sometimes for the first time. Ultimately, that is what is needed to rehabilitate prisoners and prevent further reoffending and at Parc we never shy away from trying new and ambitious programmes to achieve this.”

Stephanie Price, DofE Director for Wales said;

“For many young people being able to push yourself past boundaries and overcome challenges is an essential part of personal development – inspiring confidence, skills and knowledge. That’s what The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is all about.”

HRH The Earl of Wessex will be visiting a number of regions continuing his DofE Diamond Anniversary Tour of the UK until October.

About The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award:

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award that develops over 300,000 young people for life and work every year in the UK.

Through achieving their Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE Awards, 14-24 year olds from all backgrounds and circumstances have the unique opportunity to grow as young adults; gaining valuable life experience whilst developing essential employability skills. Setting their own challenges, they learn practical skills, improve their fitness, volunteer in their community, plan and go on an adventurous expedition and, for Gold, they also spend time away from home with people they’ve never met, completing a shared activity.

The DofE develops tenacity, commitment and determination, admirable attributes that have a lasting impact, broadening each young person’s life and work prospects.

The DofE is run all over the UK under licence by over 1,200 partners who offer it in over 13,000 DofE centres – including schools and academies, youth clubs, businesses, voluntary organisations and young offender institutions – which are run and supported by around 50,000 adult volunteers.

The DofE is a charity and therefore dependent on charitable giving to sustain and grow the DofE so more young people can take part and transform their lives.

For more information please visit www.DofE.org.

For further information please contact DofE Wales on 01874 623086.

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