I’m very excited this morning as I am going visiting to one of my favourite places, the women’s prison! Mum has put on her TDN uniform, but she is also wearing her thick leather belt with a whistle and chain, so I know where I am going! This is what happens on our visits.
When we get there, we have to sign in and be checked over and then a lady called an ‘Officer’ takes us through many locked and noisy metal gates until we reach the wing for ladies who are ill. It takes us a long time to get there as we keep meeting groups of ladies who all wear the same colour clothes and are with their Officer and everybody wants to say ‘hello’ to me.
Eventually we reach Holly House where my friends live and go through more metal gates until we reach the staff room where all the Officers want to pat me and give me a treat and Mum a cup of tea.
I then get to work. I go into a room with Mum and another Officer which has comfy chairs and table and I wait for my friends to come and see me. They are all poorly; some are confused others are frightened and many of them are weepy.
One lady was so nervous she wouldn’t come into the room and just watched round the door but after a few weeks she came and gave me a cuddle. She said she had been naughty but could see I still loved her.
The other women always argue who has to fetch me my drink of water and treats. Sally gives me a good brush and would like to bath me but that’s not allowed, luckily! All of them give me a cuddle before they have to go back to their bedrooms which are called ‘cells’ or ‘pods’ but they all have a photo of me on their walls.
Another Officer then comes for Mum and me and takes us through even more gates until we reach a room with Mums and their babies and toddlers. They are all pleased to see me and sometimes the little tots cry when I leave.
Back we go through all the gates, and I get fussed again by the Officers at the door. We walk to the car; I go straight to sleep and stay asleep all the way home.
In memory of Charlie Airedale 2010-2021, a prison visitor for 9 years.
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Charity No: 1167622