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Last Updated: Monday, 6 February 2006, 13:10 GMT
Inmates swap time for family help
Prisoners at Gloucester jail have joined a scheme whereby they can "buy" help for relatives on the outside.

Inmates restore old bicycles in the prison workshop to send to developing countries and the time they spend is credited to their families.

Family members can then cash it in to get help from volunteers with jobs like decorating, shopping and childcare.

It is part of the Time Banks UK system which now runs community time swap schemes across the country.

'Positive contribution'

A workshop is being held at Cheltenham Civil Service Club on Monday to show other jails and time banks how successful the Gloucester prison scheme has been.

Gloucester Time Bank manager, Julie Baxter, said: "The project is working really well and now we are at a point where we want to share our success with others to encourage them to set up similar schemes.

"The Prison Link Project is done in partnership with HMP Gloucester Resettlement team and the Castle Gate Family and Visitors Centre and enables prisoners and their families to give and receive help.

"This combats isolation and makes people feel part of the wider community as well as giving them a positive contribution to make."

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