Serco has partnered with Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW), Gurehlgam Corporation and Momentum Collective to assist homeless people in need.
The project announced as part of National Corrections Day has seen inmates at the centre complete the first series of decorated recycled suitcases to help those facing homelessness in the upcoming winter season.
Clarence Correctional Centre General Manager Tony Voss said the project was an opportunity for staff and inmates to be involved in a vital community project and work with services providing early intervention and prevention of homelessness.
“Across the centre we saw more than 20 inmates and staff volunteer to participate in the program and give their time and artistic skills to those in need,” Mr Voss said.
“Meaningful activities like this enable inmates to give back to the community, which is an important part of our holistic program to create positive behavioural changes, improving each prisoner’s chance of success when they are released from our care.
“Serco’s restorative justice framework encourages positive behaviours and allows inmates to learn and take responsibility for their actions.”
Gurehlgam Corporation CEO Julie Perkins said the suitcases will be distributed by both Gurehlgam Corporation and Momentum Collective to those in the Clarence Valley experiencing homelessness as a means for transporting their belongings.
“Homelessness is quite prevalent in the local community and having a safe and secure way to carry your belongings can make a real difference to somebody living and sleeping rough,” Ms Perkins said.
“Working with Serco and CSNSW on projects such as this helps ensure, as a community, we continue to address the complex needs of some of the most disadvantaged people living in the Clarence Valley.”
CSNSW Community Corrections Officer Gayle Ackers who coordinated the donations was overwhelmed with the response to the project with more than 30 items contributed from Serco and Community Corrections staff.
“These decorated suitcases full of bedding will now provide homeless people comfort over the winter months and we all feel proud to be part of a partnership that is really making a difference,” Ms Ackers said.