01 Dec 2020

Building Relationships From Day One

Covid has made life in prison even tougher for prisoners, but despite the lockdowns of 2020 our prisons work has continued to grow. We caught up with Mark, our new Young Offender Outreach Worker for the Central and East hub to hear about what he’s been up to:

‘I’m a couple of months into my role as a Young Offender Outreach Worker and I love being a part of The Message in Prisons team. I’m excited for what God’s got in store.

‘Despite the restrictions in place in many prisons due to Covid, I’ve been warmly received by the prisons staff and have already been able to start chatting to the lads and building relationships with them.

‘Although it is difficult to talk through the glass windows of the cell doors, I’ve had some great conversations with the young people. One of the first things that struck me was how appreciate the lads are that someone has taken the time to come and see them and spend time with them. One young person even asked an officer to thank me for my time spent with them, how precious is that!

‘As I chatted to Rob* he asked about The Message in Prisons and what we do. As I told him about this, I mentioned that I wanted to encourage each of the young people about their value, purpose and strengths. I then asked what are your strengths? ‘I don’t have any’ was his reply. This broke my heart but as we carried on speaking, I was able to encourage him pointing out what a good listener he was amongst other things.

‘This was just one conversation, but over the coming weeks and months I’ll see Rob more and am praying that I’ll be able to encourage him, and many others, in their personal journeys of faith.

‘As and when lockdowns ease I can’t wait to be able to meet them outside their cells running courses, Bible studies and other activities for the lads.’

*Name has been changed.