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Prison tours raise £1,176 for Victim Support 3 December 2008

Prison Service presentation to Victim Support IoMPUBLIC tours of Victoria Road prison helped to raise more than £1,100 for Victim Support Isle of Man.

The Department of Home Affairs decided to throw open the gates to the old jail earlier this year following the transfer of inmates and staff to the new facility at Jurby. The response from local residents was overwhelming and almost 2,000 places were snapped up within hours of being advertised.

Former Acting Prison Governor Tony Hawkes conducted the 90-minute tours in September and October, providing visitors with an insight into life within the walls of the 117-year-old building. Although no charge was made, people were encouraged to leave a donation in one of the Victim Support collection buckets situated inside the prison gates.

Prison Governor Alison Gomme said:

‘Opening up Victoria Road to the public presented an opportunity to help a local charity and Victim Support is a particularly worthy cause as it does such valuable work with victims of crime in the Isle of Man. The tours proved extremely popular and I was pleased that so many school children were able to learn about the prison as it has played an important part in the Island’s social history.’

A total of £1,176.68 was raised and Victim Support (IoM) Manager Paula Gelling added:

‘We are extremely grateful to the Prison Service for thinking of us and to Tony Hawkes for his tireless efforts. Victim Support has just experienced its busiest year to date, so additional funding is always most welcome to ensure our services continue to benefit those in need.’

Photo caption: A total of £1,176 was donated to Victim Support Isle of Man via the charity’s collection buckets during the recent public tours of Victoria Road prison. (Back row, l-r) Department of Home Affairs member with responsibility for the Prison Service, Tim Crookall MHK, Former Acting Prison Governor Tony Hawkes, Prison Governor Alison Gomme. (Front row, l-r) Victim Support Manager Paula Gelling with colleagues Denise Groenewald and Kerry Joynes

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