Una Padel Award: Winner 2007 Organisational category
Prison Chat UK
Tel: 020 8778 7741
Prison Chat UK, also known as PCUK, is a non-profit organisation run entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers, supporting the prisoners' families and friends in the UK. All the volunteers have first hand experience of what it is like to be left coping with a loved one being sent to prison.
The organisation run an online networking website which features discussion forums and chat rooms covering a wide range of subject areas which are relevant to the users. They also have private areas for discussing sensitive issues relevant to vulnerable prisoner's families and friends. It is a free service which has a firm rule that all prisoners' families and friends are treated with respect and decency regardless of the crime their loved one has been accused or convicted for. The website was set up by Lorna Smith while her husband was on remand. In the two years that they have been running they have got 795 members and over 100 500 messages posted on their forums.
The website is carefully monitored by the volunteers to ensure that the members feel safe and that the security of the website is not compromised, and members have reported that it reduces the stress and isolation often experienced by individuals who have a loved one in prison.
Click here for more information about the winner of the individual category.