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Would you sleep in a cell for charity?

shirley 6

Shirley, CEO If U Care Share

Five charity workers spent the night in the cells at Consett Police Station in order to raise awareness of the importance in helping vulnerable people at this time of year.

Supported by Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg, each person was locked in the cell at 9pm on Tuesday December, and ‘released’ at 7.00am the following day. 

The five charity workers who took part wereShirley Smith the Chief Executive of the If U Care Share Foundation, Nicky Saunter the Chief Executive of Transform Drug Policy, Joe Iancu a Youth Coordinator at NEPACS, Amina Marix Evans from the Kittiwake Trust Foundation, and Justin King from Consett YMCA .

Nicky said: “Spending a night in jail and experiencing some of what detainees go through, I appreciate how completely inappropriate this would be for someone with a drug problem. I can imagine feeling isolated, frightened and claustrophobic - and I only spent 12 hours incarcerated, with a door I could open if I wanted to. I left the cell this morning but thousands of people won't be.”

Ron said: “Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for vulnerable people. Too many are lonely and they can find this a stressful period as feelings of isolation are made worse. I’m pleased that these issues are being highlighted”.

More information about the charities involved:

  • If U Care Share Foundation – CEO Shirley Smith -a regional charity committed to prevention, intervention and support for those bereaved by suicide.  https://www.ifucareshare.co.uk/
  • Transform Drug Policy - CEO Nicky Saunter – A  charitable think tank that campaigns for the legal regulation of drugs both in the UK and internationally.  Transform therefore works to get drugs under control by advocating for strict regulation of all aspects of the trade, including campaigning to end the criminalisation of drug users. http://www.tdpf.org.uk/about-transform
  • NEPACS– Youth Coordinator,  Joe Iancu – a north east charity which aims to promote a positive future for prisoners, offenders and their relatives by supporting family ties at every stage of the criminal justice system.http://www.nepacs.co.uk/
  • The Kittiwake Trust - Borderline Books (Amina Marix Evans) - have been giving free books to organisations in the North East Since 2006. Recipients include several women’s refuges and care homes, Barnardo’s, De Paul, Salvation Army, Forward Assist, NERS, WERS, Haven Tyneside, Basis 360, Open Gate; Police Custody Suites in Durham, Cleveland, Northumbria; HMP Leeds, Kirklevington, Askham Grange, Holme House, Doncaster, Barlinnie and Belmarsh plus more than 150 people in prisons around the country who have written to request books. http://www.kittiwaketrust.org.uk
Posted on Wednesday 20th December 2017
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