Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Friday, 27 March 2009

Church involved in inmates scheme

A project involving the Prison Service and the Church of England which is designed to prevent re-offending has been launched at Shrewsbury jail.

Fresh Start, New Beginnings is a chaplaincy scheme which will work with inmates as they approach release.

It will help them to find housing, jobs and support in the community.

The Mercian Trust, the Diocese of Lichfield's social action charity, has handed over a cheque for nearly £35,000 to support the project.

Chaplain of Shrewsbury Prison, Reverend Bob Wiltshire, said the scheme, if successful, would be of benefit to the whole community, not just ex-offenders.

He said: "We need to work with them while they're inside so that there is a hope for them when they get out."

The Mercian Trust had helped to administer the creation of the Fresh Start, New Beginnings initiative, but it is now a charity in its own right.

The cheque handover was the balance of monies held by the Mercian Trust for this community chaplaincy project.

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