We were delighted to welcome so many supporters to our annual meeting and Celebration of Hope event.

Opening the meeting, CCN chair, Chris Tomlinson, told over 100 mentors, clients and supporters: “God never gives up on us, so it is up to us never to give up on those who need us. We give ex-prisoners hope by believing in them. “It is a fact that if a person can be kept from reoffending for the first 40 days after release from prison, they have a very good chance of building a stable life. This has a huge impact on our society with the problem of overcrowded prisons which are expensive to run; everyone who can be kept out of these institutions reduces the costs we all have to bear and creates a community more at peace with itself.” CCN Manager Mel Wheeler told the meeting: “Tonight is about celebrating where we come from and where we want to go. We want to be able to employ a second mentor co-ordinator to allow us to train and support more volunteer mentors. We want to reach the day when nobody has to walk out through that prison gate alone but have someone there beside them.” Managing chaplain at HMP Norwich, Fr Paulinus Heggs, said: “Prison is not fun, nice or easy. It is not a prize awarded to people for winning at life. It weights heavily on the soul. What we do to help prisoners is a satisfying role. People do it because we care and we want to make a difference.” Guests at the annual meeting were then entertained by the Sanctuary Jazz group and enjoyed curries from Namaste restaurant in Norwich.

Please take a look at the booklet we launched on the night, kindly supported by the Norfolk Community Foundation ProHelp scheme. Click here to view.