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14 December 2010

Still holding out hope behind bars: Daylight celebrates best year yet

Still holding out hope behind bars: Daylight celebrates best year yet

This year has been a year of change for Daylight, a Christian organisation set up in 2004, which aims to see prisoners' lives transformed by the Gospel through chapel services and Bible studies.

The organisation has gained new staff members, moved into a new office, recruited additional volunteers, and expanded their work with ex-offenders by setting up 11 new support groups across the country. In the face of all of this change, Daylight is celebrating its best year ever in both the work it has delivered and the amount of support it has raised.

During 2010 Daylight visited almost half of the prison estate and have had contact with more than 4,000 offenders. They have also set up post-release support groups across the UK which are beginning to look for ways in which they can support ex-offenders as they settle back into a local community and overcome the temptations of re-offending.

This has only been possible because of the commitment and generosity of Daylight's supporters and its national network of volunteers, which contribute the equivalent of six full-time members of staff to the organisation's work as they visit local prisons, write to prisoners and work with ex-offenders on a one-to-one basis.

Speaking in response to Daylight's good news, Chief Executive John Scott, said: "In light of the recession and the tough economic conditions in which charities are operating, it is clear that Christians are committed to reaching out to those behind bars and to making a difference to ex-offenders' lives as they settle back into the community. This is a clear statement that in tough times, the Church is responding to the needs in society and it gives a positive message to government as they think through what their Big Society agenda practically looks like. Christians are stepping up to meet the need to take the hope of the Christian faith to a forgotten group of people and to see lives transformed. We are tremendously grateful to all of our supporters for helping us achieve this and look forward to another exciting year in 2011."

See the January/February edition of idea for more on how Christian organisations are spreading the Gospel through work with prisoners.

For more information on Daylight's national, regional and local work, visit www.daylightcpt.org