Celebrating and promoting the best in UK prisons, probation and youth justice



COMMENDEE 2012-13: Assistant Chaplain: for longstanding dedication and skill in the management and care of prisoners.

Katrina Thompson has been commended for ‘longstanding dedication and skill in the management and care of prisoners.’ She is described as ‘selfless’, ‘an ambassador for good’ and ‘a voice for those who need it.’ Now in her 70s, Katrina volunteers for ‘many more hours than she is paid for,’ using her past experience as a Music Teacher to help offenders learn new skills and working with professional musicians to stage musical and theatrical productions that have served as a huge boost to the confidence and selfesteem of many prisoners. She also leads the mentordriven ToebyToe reading scheme that has helped to change the lives of more than a thousand prisoners, and has worked tirelessly to reach some of the most isolated prisoners who don’t speak English.

Regular musical sessions are held where prisoners can play instruments and sing according to their local traditions and customs, allowing them to maintain links with their national roots, and she has also established an exservice veterans’ group along with several national/cultural groups.

Katrina is highly regarded by prisoners and colleagues alike, one of whom commented that ‘her energy is as vital as any 20-year-old, and her enthusiasm and motivation remain constant despite working in a challenging, changing environment, showing that age is no barrier to engagement and new thinking.’

‘All individuals and groups should feel valued,’ maintains Katrina. ‘I feel privileged to be able to play a small part in the life of HMP The Verne.’

For more information: contact HMP The Verne

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