Thursday, 18 February 2010

Is Prison right for you?

Members are being sought to join the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) at Leyhill Open Prison.  The IMB acts independently of the Prison Service and their role is to monitor the complete range of activities within the prison to ensure the fair and just treatment of those held in custody.  

Formerly a wartime hospital, HMP Leyhill is the only minimum security prison in the south west of England and has been an important part of the UK Prison Service since 1946.  The prison is capable of holding up to 532 prisoners, 110 of whom are serving life sentences and all of whom are housed not in cells, but in individual rooms in one of three accommodation blocks with open corridors.   

All of the prisoners, who are generally aged 25 and over have been assessed as low risk and many are either serving short term sentences or are nearing the end of their sentence.  Leyhill plays a particularly important role assessing and preparing prisoners for release by providing an environment in which they can assume more responsibility and benefit from opportunities to make decisions for themselves before returning to the outside community. It is in preparing those approaching release, especially those serving life sentences, to return to the community that is the key to Leyhill’s whole ethos.   

A wide range of opportunities are available to the prisoner to help prepare for release, from academic and vocational courses to opportunities to work outside either doing voluntary work or in local organisations who support the hundred or so prisoners who leave the prison daily on licence.  All those not working outside the prison will be either employed in one of the many maintenance or service activities, or be in education. The only exceptions being those out on licence to go on home leave, which is part of the preparation for transition back into society, or those past retirement age.  

It is in this environment which is not exposed to the normal scrutiny of everyday life, that the IMB carry out their duties, acting as the eyes and ears of the community to ensure that fairness and respect is given to those in custody, and that they are treated humanely.  There is no need for a legal background, but just an open and questioning attitude together with an ability to communicate with a wide range of people and a willingness to work as part of a team.  

IMB members enjoy a high level of trust and responsibility and are free to visit anywhere within the prison at any time and without the need to make an appointment.  There is a great deal of communication with staff and prisoners and with an ever changing prison population, the IMB is seeking to recruit younger people, working people and those from ethnic minorities to reflect that population. 

Members of IMB Boards come from all walks of life and although IMB work is voluntary, travel and training expenses are covered. Volunteering involves commitment to two or three days a month on a rota basis, each visit taking several hours and requiring  visits to all parts of the prison.  IMB volunteers, who have to undergo a security clearance process before they can be accepted for the role, are also expected to live reasonably close to the prison, and to attend monthly IMB meetings.  

As part of a drive to recruit additional volunteers to join the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), prospective applicants are being invited to visit HMP Leyhill, meet members of the IMB and experience at first hand what life is like in one of the UK’s busiest open prisons.  Anyone who is interested and would like to know more about what is involved in becoming a member of the IMB are asked to contact the IMB Clerk on 01454 264112 or email Pat.Carpenter@hmps.gsi.gov.uk to make an appointment on either Friday 5th March or Saturday 6th March 2010.

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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Asbestos Legislation may catch out Landlords


*** Press Release ***

80 Twenty Projects

Immediate Release

Asbestos Legislation may catch out Landlords

With tougher asbestos legislation now in force it is likely to catch out many landlords who previously thought they would be unaffected. New clearer guidance means that for many landlords and their staff / sub-contractors, any of the properties they manage need to be checked for Asbestos. This covers anything from warehouses through to domestic tenanted flats. Tim Ashley-King of 80 Twenty Projects believes many companies and individuals will end up being fined through a general lack of understanding of these issues.

The ‘duty to manage asbestos’ requirements of regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2006 do not normally apply to individual domestic premises, however, the requirements do apply to common parts of premises such as foyers, corridors, lifts, staircases and gardens etc, including housing developments and blocks of flats. Many landlords are fully aware if this.

What is rarely understood is that The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, requires all employers to ensure their employees will not be exposed to health and safety (Asbestos) risks, to provide health & safety information to others who may be affected, and places legal duties on employers and the self employed, towards people not in their employment. Landlords therefore need to assess any Asbestos risks to third parties, e.g. tenants who may be affected by their activities, and make appropriate arrangements to protect them.

These requirements mean that organisations such as private landlords, local authorities, housing associations, social housing management companies and others who own, or are responsible for, domestic properties, have legal duties to ensure the health and safety of their staff (and others) in domestic premises, and this is where organisations are likely to be caught out by legislation.

Asbestos can be found many buildings built before the year 2000, in floor tiles, various fire retarding panels, boiler rooms, roof spaces and even in ‘Artex’. It is an easily overlooked, and hard to identify material. It was a commonly used throughout the 1950’s, to 1990’s, before its carcinogenic life-threatening legacy was fully understood. Currently in the UK it is responsible for over 4,000 deaths per year, as a result of past exposures.

As employers, organisations have duties to identify asbestos. Tim Ashley-King said I believe that we will see an increasing number of prosecutions through a lack of awareness of Asbestos legislation. 80 Twenty Projects can help prevent this through providing training to identify and deal with the problem, or by conducting Asbestos Surveys and advising on Asbestos Management Strategies.

80 Twenty Projects is a Bristol based Asbestos specialist company covering the UK and deals with everything from houses and schools to small shops and even fire damaged supermarkets. Tim Ashley-King said We are a growing company and currently are recruiting for competent Asbestos Surveyors. Anyone interested should send us a CV and covering letter. It is likely to be busy in the next few months!

Further information on Asbestos can be found on www.8020projects.co.uk and on the HSE Website.


** Ends **


Notes to Editors:

80 Twenty Projects is based in Bristol and run by Tim Ashley-King. Operating on a nationwide basis, they are able to offer a range of services including:

             Asbestos Surveys, Asbestos Bulk Sample Analysis, Re-Inspection

             Asbestos Management Plans

             Asbestos Training, Health and Safety Training

             Tender Design and Specification, Contractor Selection, Project Management

             Qualitative Face Fit Testing for RPE

             Fire Risk Assessments

             Health and Safety, Health and Safety Risk Assessment

             Health and Safety Policy and Health and Safety Audits




For further information, interviews and images please contact:

Tim Davies of Copper Phoenix

E:            tim@copperphoenix.co.uk

T/M:      07919 914512



Tim Davies


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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The militant Sikh Princess and other secret stars of Hampton Court Palace



The Edward Jenner Museum


For Immediate Release



The militant Sikh Princess and other secret stars of Hampton Court Palace



Sarah Parker, the director of the Edward Jenner Museum will be giving a talk Suffragettes, Soldiers & Servants: Behind the Scenes of the Hampton Court Palace Community 1750 - 1950 on Thursday 25th February at the Old Cyder House in Berkeley. This will be the sixth of The Old Cyder House Talks for 2010 on interesting and diverse subjects. Sarah Parker will be sharing the story of the lesser known characters of this famous royal residence.


Hampton Court Palace in Surrey is located next to the river Thames and from 1236 the site was used by knights, courtiers, cardinals and kings. Less famous is the hidden community of the palace who following George II’s decision in the mid 18th Century to break with the tradition begun by Henry VIII not to live there, moved into a series of apartments granted to those who found favour after services rendered to crown or country. Sarah Parker spent ten years curating at Hampton Court Palace. She will share the stories of the eclectic mix of palace residents including Michael Faraday, the chemist and physicist who discovered electromagnetic induction and the militant Indian suffragette Princess Sophia, daughter of Maharajah Duleep Singh.


Sarah Parker said: Hampton Court Palace has been home to an extraordinary community who lived in grace and favour apartments and lived lives dramatic enough to rival their royal predecessors. Eastenders has nothing on these South-Westenders.


Organised by The Edward Jenner Museum, the Old Cyder House talks are increasing in popularity, so reserve your tickets now! The Berkeley talk will cost £8 per person including a glass of wine.

More information can be found on the museum website, www.jennermuseum.com where there is also information on hiring The Old Cyder House and about other events at the Museum.

Bookings for all the talks can be made in advance by calling 01453 810631 or emailing info@edwardjenner.co.uk


- ENDS -


Notes to Editors:


THE OLD CYDER HOUSE, Berkeley, Gloucestershire



1) The Old Cyder House is at Dr Edward Jenner’s former home, The Chantry, in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. Dr Jenner lived in the house from 1785-1823, and it was from here that he pioneered the world-changing vaccination against Smallpox.


The Old Cyder House is available for training, conferences, business meetings, product launches and exhibitions throughout the year and is situated in the Old Coach House, where cider was originally brewed, hence the name.


Ticketing details/costs & further information, please see: www.jennermuseum.com


General information and booking: info@edwardjenner.co.uk


For further information, interviews or image requests please contact:


Sarah Parker



Email: director@edwardjenner.co.uk


Tel:      01453 810 631

Fax:      01453 811 690



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