Service Users' Voices
Service Users' Voices
“Many thanks for the time you spent trying to find interesting things to do and talk about”.
“Now, released, I am contemplating joining a volunteer group somewhere where I can participate in craft work again”
“The quiet makes me feel more normal”
“I feel included and safe here, which is a new experience”
“I have not knitted for 40 years but all the positivity stimulates me to start my own knitting-on-line-business when I am out of here”
“It helps me to be with people of my own age”
“I have learnt more in this session then during the 2 weeks of my stay. Thanks for the tips”
"By the time you get this, I will be nearly home. I would like to say thank you for the group the Rubies. It was something to look forward to in all the mayhem and noise and it was lovely to talk to women of my own age (60 going on 21) about everyday moments and thoughts. Although I was in prison for only 4 weeks, your twice weekly group was very much appreciated. It was my first visit to prison and my last!"
Rubies member, Eastwood Park
"I came into Exeter prison in November 2008. I remember it well. The over 50’s group, run by Liz Ropschitz, had not long started and I joined at one of the earliest meetings on my arrival. Six other inmates, also new to the prison, were in attendance. We held quizzes, talks by various members of the group plus volunteer speakers who came in from outside. I remember we had the Chair Based Exercises, A Teign Valley Railway presentation, advice regarding pensions and benefits and a book club amongst others.
I remained in Exeter prison and was a regular attendee of the group. I was able to interact with other older prisoners and discuss issues relevant to our age and ability.
I was transferred to Channings Wood prison in September 2009 and was pleased to find that the Over 50’s group was already established. I joined the group immediately and was asked by the chairman of the Over 50’s Forum to consider becoming a committee member. This became a regular commitment for me and remained so right up to the time of my discharge, which is tomorrow, May 2011.
Having Liz Ropschitz from RECOOP regularly coming into the prison has meant that there has been a wide variety of topics available to attend, ranging from local history and topography talks to dementia awareness, the slave trade, during Black History month, and matters of a more personal nature, bearing in mind the problems inmates face.
As I’m leaving tomorrow I would like to express my gratitude to RECOOP and Liz and all the people concerned with making this valuable service possible.
Signed Channings Wood prisoner at the point of release.
“A very interesting and informative walk through areas of the prison we wouldn’t normally see. It was an experience to walk across rough ground, something I rarely (if ever) do during a normal day. From a mobility point of view it was an excellent exercise.”
“A very interesting and enjoyable walk. I don’t think I have enough room in my diary to write up all I have observed today.”
“It was nice and a pleasure to see so many over 50s take time out to take an interest in setting up garden activities - I hope it continues.”
“Went to plant seeds in the raised beds this morning, something I haven’t done for many years and I really enjoyed it. I found I still had the skill of landscaping gardens. It was a lovely fresh change.”
“Creative writing sessions have enabled me to develop communication skills I never had before I attended the centre. I plan to have this activity as part of my community options in my release plan.”
“A very enjoyable morning watching and discussing life in the 40’s. Brought back a lot of memories and was good to hear others’ experiences in this area.”
“I did remember a lot of things in the film and I would like to see more of the same. It’s good to remember.”
“I remember when I was released from institution. I saw the Queen’s Coronation on TV in 1955, my job was working in a laundry with a low wage of £9.00 a week, although I enjoyed the freedom.”
“The stress and relaxation class was for me the most relaxed and stress free period I have ever experienced. I look forward to the next session.”
“I found this session to be very informative because of recent stress. The methods of explaining how to relax helped me feel good about myself all day.”
“I felt the stress releasing from my muscles and felt very calm at the end.”
“The primetime 50+ Gym sessions enhance the quality of my life and helps maintain my fitness levels.”
“I feel more comfortable being able to train with people in my own age group.”
“Nice to be able to get personal help and advice while training and not be embarrassed to train in front of younger fitter guys.”
“I joined the over-50 gym class for the reasons of keeping fit and healthy and want to continue this when I am released. It is also healthy for communicating and integrating – all good goals for me.”
- 1:00am, Jan 01, 1970