Alistair Darling praises Salvation Army during tour of prison’s visitor centre

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CHARITY workers have been praised for their work with vistors to Saughton prison after a visit by former chancellor Alistair Darling.

More than 60,000 people pass through Scotland’s only purpose-built prison visitors’ centre – which is managed by the Salvation Army – every year.

The Edinburgh Prison Visitors’ Centre aims to provide support for friends and family of inmates. Kerry Watson, co-ordinator of the centre, said: “We were delighted to show Alistair Darling around and to have the opportunity to tell him more about the work that we do within the centre.

“The centre provides a supportive, friendly and non-judgmental environment for anyone visiting someone in prison, and is part of the Salvation Army’s overall commitment to both the prisoners and their families.”

The centre has a designated children’s corner with educational activities, which change every month. This month’s theme is Christmas, and children can make something to take home.

Speaking about his visit, Mr Darling said: “The salvation army has a long tradition of helping the vulnerable and most marginalised in society.”

The Prison Visitors’ Centre at Saughton is open 363 days a year and accommodates about 31 visit sessions a week.