In September, Manchester & Salford Samaritans were invited to HMP Forest Bank & HMP Manchester to celebrate 30 years of the Listener Scheme.
September marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Samaritans’ Listener Scheme, which first began at HMP Swansea in 1991. Almost every prison in England and Wales now has a Listener scheme, and they also operate in prisons in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. Manchester and Salford Branch supports callers in 2 prisons – HMP Forest Bank and HMP Manchester.
Our volunteers were involved in the making of a short film and a radio programme to help us promote and raise awareness of the scheme with people in prison.
We held celebration events at HMP Forest Bank and HMP Manchester where newly trained Listeners were presented with their certificates. Volunteer, Jo, was also presented with a certificate to mark her fantastic achievement of long-service, giving 20 years to help support the scheme.
The anniversary was a great opportunity to recognize the incredible dedication and commitment of the Listeners, Samaritans volunteers and prison staff who have worked to support the continued operation of the scheme.