The Activities Team
The purpose of the Activities Team at The Verne is to assist our Residents to find paid work with vocational education opportunities and to enrol Residents on educational courses.
Within the first couple of days of arriving at The Verne, a member of the Activity team will meet up with each Resident. This will either be during the prison tour or as a one to one within the Activity Centre itself. This is an excellent opportunity for our Residents to discuss what activities they may want to get involved in and the benefits it will bring to both their Sentence Plan and their time at The Verne.
Paid work at The Verne is varied; here are examples of what we currently have on offer:
Kitchen: Residents help to prepare meals in the main Kitchen and learn key processes towards ensure health and safety is maintained. All members of the Kitchen staff are given the opportunity to work towards a qualification to demonstrate the skills they learn.
Woodmill: Residents are welcomed into a state of the art Carpentry Assembly plant and Spray Shop, where they can learn how to make a vast range of furniture from cabinets to garden furniture for other Prisons around the country. This opportunity gives Residents great experience of what it’s like, working in a commercial workshop.
Contract Services: A very popular work location at The Verne. There are four workshops; one creating breakfast packs for other prisons, another specialising in television repair, a third creating leather-goods textiles for use across the prison estate and a full mechanical bicycle repair workshop.
Gardens: The Gardens Team work outside, maintaining gardens and making the fauna of the site look attractive; learning valuable skills and gaining qualifications in the process.
Recycling Centre: The Verne has a commitment to the environment and the Recycling Team are responsible for salvaging items from the site, for re-use locally or for sending to the local recycling partnership, to help us achieve a reduction in our carbon footprint.
Wing Assistants: Wing Assistants perform a very important role in keeping the Residential Units, both inside and outside, clean and tidy to the benefit of the entire community. Wing Assistants also assist in the serving of meals within each Residential Unit and also managing the residential Laundries.
Wing Peer Support Workers: An important and entrusted role at The Verne; our Wing Peer Support workers are here to assist all Residents by providing care, support and advice with any issues presented by their peer group.
Barbers: A Training Hairdresser imparts skills on Residents to help them learn how to cut hair. Once trained, they can test their skills out on their peer group, who book appointments in the Barber Shop.
Orderlies: To assist with keeping the Centre running smoothly, we employ many Resident orderlies to assist staff in key areas such as the Gym, Library, Education, Reception, Visits and Offender Management.
The Verne operates a full education provision, provided by Weston College, with links to the Open University for distance learning courses.
The Library at HMP The Verne is operated by Dorset County Council and stocks books in a variety of languages, with a choice of newspapers and magazines. The Library is open every weekday, two evenings per week and at weekends.
Gymnasium & Sports
HMP The Verne operates a well-equipped Gymnasium and Multi-use Gym Area (MUGA). Specific programmes for healthy lifestyles, remedial support and weight loss are available to all interested Residents. The Physical Education team specialise in providing extensive coaching and offers all-weather sporting events in our Gym, MUGA and outside sports field.
Local PCT have responsibility for healthcare with local GP providing five sessions per week. There are two Dental Surgeries per week. A Chiropodist, an Optician and a GUM Clinician visits once a month. Six Mental Health sessions are provided by Registered Mental Health Nurses. The Mental Health In-reach Team visit once a week. A range of nurse-led clinics are provided each week on an appointment basis.
The establishment provides a full time Substance Misuse service, providing detoxification facilities. Psychosocial support is offered on an assessment basis, to ensure the upmost support for those in our care. A voluntary/compliance drug testing programme is in place and accessible to all Residents.
DHL Canteen Service
HMP The Verne operates a weekly bagged canteen delivery service, supplied by the Prison Service’s national supplier, DHL.
Each Resident is invited to place an order, by filling in and submitting an order form. The order is sent to a DHL distribution warehouse, where items are picked and delivered to site. The cost of an order is deducted from each Resident’s Personal Spends account, prior to delivery.
Complaints should be made in writing, addressed to:
Business Hub – Complaints Coordinator
HMP The Verne
The complaint must fully detail the sender’s name and contact address. It must also fully contain the complainant’s full name (if not the sender) and a full NOMS reference number. If you are not aware of either of these numbers, then you must supply a full, accurate date of birth.
If the complaint concerns a potential risk to staff or a Resident, please telephone the Control Room 01305 825058.
Residents, who have not reached their maximum property allowance, may be allowed to receive additional property at this Prison.
Applications to send items to a Resident must be made via letter to the Governor prior to sending and are subject to security screening.
If pre-approval to send items is not sought prior to sending, the items will be returned to sender, at the entire risk of the sender.
Residents are welcome to receive postal consignments. Post is received at HMP The Verne each working day, excluding weekends and public holidays.
Rule 39 procedures apply to Legal Correspondence, as long as they are clearly marked as such, are double enveloped and fully comply with both PSI 49/2011 and guidance negotiated with the Law Society.
Rule 39 correspondence which appears to be suspect in nature or non-compliant with the terms of PSI 49/2011 may be subject to interception on security grounds, at the Governor’s discretion. PSI 04/2016: ‘The Interception of Communications in Prisons and Security Measures’ explains the interception process in more detail.
Rule 39 correspondence must never be sent via fax or e-mail.
Sending of Monies
Residents are welcome to receive monies via post or electronically, to spend in the Centre or to hold on a personal account until the point of discharge.
Cash: We strongly recommend not to send cash to the Prison, due to the risk of loss through post and inability to cancel the payment in this event. It is advised that any cash sent into the Centre is done so using a traceable and secure tracking service. The Centre or HMPS cannot be held responsible for missing monies that are not documented as having arrived at this Centre.
Cheques: Cheques should be made payable to 'HM Prison Service' - please note that cheques can take up to 3 weeks to clear. Cheques should be clearly endorsed with a Resident's NOMS/Home Office reference number, full name and date of birth. Please do not send cheques if a Resident has already received removal directions from the UK.
Online Deposit: Residents can now receive online payments direct from Debit Cardholders by visiting www.gov.uk/send-prisoner-money. This is the safest and most secure manner in which to send money to a Resident.
Postal Orders should be endorsed as 'Payable to HM Prison Service’ - Postal Orders are treated as cash. Postal orders should be clearly endorsed with a Resident's NOMS/Home Office reference number, full name and date of birth. Please do not send postal orders if the Resident is subject to deportation and has already received removal directions from the UK.
We endeavour to credit Resident accounts at the earliest opportunity. However, slight delays may occur in busy periods or over weekends and Public Holidays.