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Alliance’s Levin plant helps support specialist prison project

MEDIA RELEASE

3 August 2020

Alliance’s Levin plant helps support specialist prison project

 

Alliance Group is helping support prisoners’ rehabilitation at Rimutaka Prison by providing suitable beef bones for carving.


Te Whare Manaakitanga Special Treatment Unit is for men who have committed serious offences and taken up the challenge to learn about the things that drove their past behaviour and develop the skills required to break unhelpful patterns.


Bone carving is encouraged as a pastime for participants, however the unit was finding it challenging to source the required split beef shin bones. Alliance Group is now providing the unit with a regular supply of the bones from its Levin processing plant.


Members of the unit recently created several carvings, which have been presented to the plant to thank them for their support. A number of prisoners have also written to Alliance to explain how much the carving process helps them as part of their treatment programme.


Nicola Perkins, the Manager of Psychological Services at the unit, says the carving helps the men to settle their emotions after intensive therapy sessions, as well as connecting many of them with their culture.


”Most of the men have come from traumatic backgrounds and had little exposure to a healthy and stable lifestyle themselves.


“The therapy sessions require them to look at things in their past that led them to where they are now and that can be very difficult. They need ways to help settle the emotions that arise and they find that in the carving. Some say it is like meditation and that focusing on it brings a great sense of calmness.


“Although many have never done carving before, it can connect them to their culture. It allows them to carve gifts for their whanau and feel they are still part of their communities.


“They are developing real skills and it provides a sense of achievement they may only previously have felt from things like fast-paced gang activities.”


Ms Perkins now regularly collects bones from the plant when she is in the area for meetings. The men are also hoping some of their carvings could be auctioned to help charitable foundations whose fundraising has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andre Pelser, manager at Alliance Group’s Levin plant, says the co-operative is committed to supporting the initiative.

“As a significant employer in the region, we have deep roots in our community. This programme is supporting people with their rehabilitation and helping them connect with their culture so we are happy to play a small part and assist the prison.”

 

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Sam Halstead

Telephone: 027 474 6065

Email: sam@latitudesc.co.nz

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