James Timpson to deliver annual Ormiston Families Lecture at Emmanuel College, Cambridge

A file picture from 2012 of a prisoner repairing a pair of shoes at a Timpson training academy.
Pi

A file picture from 2012 of a prisoner repairing a pair of shoes at a Timpson training academy. Picture: ANTHONY DEVLIN/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

Retail entrepreneur James Timpson, whose family business has a record of working successfully with offenders, is to share his knowledge of prison reform at an event being held to raise money for the Ipswich-based charity Ormiston Families.

James Timpson, chief executive of the Timpson retail group.
Picture: CLAIRE WOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

James Timpson, chief executive of the Timpson retail group. Picture: CLAIRE WOOD PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Timpson, which is probably best known for shoe and watch repairs and key cutting, recruits around 10% of its employees directly from prison, through a process of training and mentoring for offenders leading up to their release, followed by opportunities for employment.

Chief executive James Timpson, who is chairman of the Prison Reform Trust and a former chair of the Employers’ Forum for Reducing Reoffending, was awarded the OBE in 2011 for services to training and employment for disadvantaged people.

Next month, he will be delivering the annual Ormiston Families Lecture at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, with the theme of “Prisons – from Con to Cobbler”.

Money raised from the evening will go to help Ormiston Families in its work across the East of England to support families affected by imprisonment.

A 2012 file picture of a prisoner repairing a watch at a Timpson training academy.
Picture: ANTHONY

A 2012 file picture of a prisoner repairing a watch at a Timpson training academy. Picture: ANTHONY DEVLIN/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

The charity says that, as well as struggling with their own feelings, which can include anger, shame, loneliness, anxiety and depression, children with a parent in prison are often subject to social isolation, discrimination and stigmatisation.

Its Unite programme works with offenders and their families across the region’s prisons and within the community to maintain positive family ties (where appropriate), including children’s visits, parenting courses, family liaison and community outreach.

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Tickets for the lecture, being held in the Queen’s Building at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, on Wednesday, March 8, starting at 6pm, cost £25 each. Please note that this is a change of time, based on new information from the event organisers.

Unite is one of four programmes run by Ormiston Families, with others supporting families in children’s early years, in bridging the gap between home and school and in coping with mental health and emotional issues.

Other events planned by Ormiston Families include more of its popular Walk with a Fork events in May and September, taking place at Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire, Kimberley Hall, Norfolk, and Helmingham Hall, Suffolk, as well as the annual Ormiston Classic golf day at Seckford Golf Club, Woodbridge in April.

Details of all the events, including online booking for the annual lecture, can be found at www.ormiston.org/how-you-can-support-us/fundraising/events.