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Welcome to new Volunteer Co-ordinator Lou


Lou has been with us for a few weeks now and has kindly written about her first week as a volunteer co-ordinator.

First days at Yarls Wood Befrienders

Wow, what a week it’s been so far! A wonderfully warm and welcoming first few days from the team at Yarls Wood Befrienders, though I suspect the wonderful Jess probably has purple ears from all the questions I keep firing at her! And the office with windows that point at the sky is just fabulous – especially when its blowing a hoolie as it has been this week and changes every few minutes!

There is a huge amount to learn, but that’s exciting, always up for a challenge (as long as it doesn’t involve cold water!)

Visiting Yarlswood itself is hard to put into words. I have visited quite a few prisons in the past through my work and have generally found the women’s prisons the hardest to take. Trauma seems to seep through the walls and detention feels like the very last place you would think appropriate, especially when the detention generates yet more trauma, such as removal from your family and children. However, the women I have met so far, seem grateful of the support they have received from some Welfare support staff inside Yarls Wood.

I have been touched by the openness of the women I have met over the last few days and their readiness to speak with a me, a stranger. I feel very privileged to be working for such a wonderful organisation as Yarlswood Befrienders and humbled by these women and the scale of their suffering and resilience.


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The Mayor of London and Doctors of the World have provided translated COVID-19 guidance, please find more here: https://www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-resources-and-services-your-language

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