Maghaberry staff and prisoners shine light on cancer charity
A ten-foot-tall lighthouse built by prisoners in Maghaberry will help shine a spotlight on the convalescent work of a cancer charity near Larne.
The wooden structure, which took several months to construct in Maghaberry Prison, was this week relocated to Hope House Cottage on the beach at Browns Bay, Islandmagee.
Hope House is a registered charity providing free self-catering accommodation by the sea for adults with cancer.
Eight prisoners from Maghaberry and three prison instructors worked on the lighthouse which is modelled on the Hope House crest. And supported by dozens of other prisoners and staff in the prison’s kitchen, horticulture and recycling workshops, they also raised £4,000 for the charity.
Maghaberry Governor David Savage said:
“It’s been a challenging time for a lot of people during the pandemic and especially for those who find themselves in prison. But through purposeful activity we have been helping those in our care and supporting them in their efforts to give something back to the community where they will return to.
“When we were asked by one of our staff who was a friend of the Hope House charity, if we could do anything for them, we were only too delighted to do so.
“The prisoners built the lighthouse over several months, and to raise some money for the charity many more prisoners made hanging baskets in the horticulture workshop, tray-bakes in the prison kitchen which were sold to staff and various groups, and collected and sold waste material from Maghaberry’s recycling facility.”
Dawn McConnell, founder of the charity, said:
“Hope House gives people with cancer somewhere to rest and relax away from the pressures of hospital treatments and appointments. All of our services are free and we are very dependent on the support we receive.
“The donation from Maghaberry Prison is very much appreciated, and very timely as we have just started work on new accommodation for terminally ill cancer patients. The lighthouse is absolutely magnificent and will certainly shine a beacon on our charity which reaches out to many people with cancer across Northern Ireland.”