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Interserve Industries praised for COVID-19 response

29 April 2020

Interserve Industries praised for COVID-19 response

Interserve’s team at HMP Berwyn has temporarily changed roles to support the prison’s response to COVID-19.

Ordinarily the company’s team of 25 colleagues at HMP Berwyn, in Wrexham, manage six employment centres that run a range of activities which are all linked to supporting prisoners to learn new skills so that once they finish their custodial sentence they are better equipped for getting work.

Prisons across the UK are currently in lockdown to keep rates of coronavirus infection low inside the custodial estate.

As a result, Interserve’s employment centres are not being used by the prisoners. Interserve’s Industries team has therefore taken on a range of tasks to support the prisoners during these exceptional times. Tasks they are undertaking include making breakfast, lunch, comfort and brew packs; as well as manufacturing secure casing for a dozen laptops.

All the items are being prepared to support the prisoners, who have limited access to the canteen.

Donna Whitehall, Head of Interserve Industries at HMP Berwyn, said: “I am proud of my team because they have been only too happy to completely switch their roles to support prisoners as part of HMP Berwyn’s response to COVID-19.

“Our colleagues have commandeered the workshops and are working flat out to produce around 28,800 packages of food each week. They have recognised the importance of getting essential provisions to the men, supporting the kitchen staff and keeping everything running smoothly."

“They are also making protective casing for 12 computers that will enable the prisoners to have ‘virtual’ family visits. This piece of work is critical for improving the wellbeing of the men as we continue on a restricted regime due to the pandemic. The positive impact of their work is huge.”

In addition, two members of staff have volunteered to travel to Telford to join colleagues at Interserve Healthcare to pack Personnel Protective Equipment for frontline healthcare staff.

Donna said: “In the first two days they had packed some 11,000 items of PPE and are immensely proud of being able to contribute something positive during this uncertain time.”


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