FOR 16 years, Darren Mangold (above), a member of the
congregation at St Mary's, Westwood, in Southwell &
Nottingham diocese, has been working for HM Prison Service
as an instructional officer. At the moment he runs a multi-media
workshop, which includes the making of radio programmes for
prisoners, by prisoners.
"A particular frustration for me and other staff", he says, "is
what we call 'the revolving-door syndrome': seeing the same faces
back in prison time and time again." He is a keen supporter of the
Message Trust, a charity that, he says, helps young offenders in
prison "to make good choices; and then in a practical way, on
release, they are mentored and given the opportunity to learn new
employment skills, and make life choices that significantly reduce
their risk of reoffending".
So, to raise more money for the Message Trust, he is now about
to go and climb Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, at 19,341 feet the
tallest free-standing mountain in the world. He is paying for his
own fares and accommodation, so that any donations go straight to
the Trust. "Apparently, only 41 per cent of people who attempt to
climb this mountain actually make it to the top," he says, "and I'm
told that more people die trying to do this than those who climb
His eldest daughter, Lauren, works for the Trust, and she and
her husband, Pete, are travelling to Tanzania with Mr Mangold, and
are helping with the fund-raising. "Between us, we have been doing
a variety of events," she says, "including art auctions,
photoshoots, raffles, appeals, bucket-shaking, cinema evenings, and
sponsored soaking of the Vicar of St Mary's, the Revd Fiona
Shouler, to name a few.
"I have to personally raise £2750, and the total so far is
around £1200; so I'm still a long way off."