Northgate's Executive Director in jail for a good cause

17 November 2014

Northgate Public Services’ Executive Director, Ian Blackhurst, has agreed to be arrested and put in jail – but it’s all in aid of a good cause, for charity.

Ian hopes his incarceration for a few hours on 28 November in Cambridge town jail will raise a substantial sum on behalf of Ormiston Families, to aid children in the East of England region who are facing homelessness, poverty, abuse and many other challenges. Support for the good cause is part of the Northgate Public Services’ (NPS) new Communities Matter volunteering scheme, the theme of which this year is homelessness.    

To bail him out after just a short spell in jail on a fun charge, Ian’s NPS colleagues will have to make donations to the charity on a Just Giving page. He is also relying on friends and family to help secure his release!

He will be arrested on light–hearted charges and tried in a mock-trial by His Honourable Judge, Gareth Hawkesworth, at Cambridge Crown Court. 

Ian volunteered to take part in the Jail and Bail fun event in Cambridge, which not only raises funds, but will help him to experience first-hand what it is like to go through the criminal justice system.

Julie Spence OBE QPM DL, Former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire and a Trustee of Ormiston Families said: “We are grateful to Ian for agreeing to be ‘arrested and charged’ for this fun event and to all his colleagues and friends, who I hope will give generously for his release! We are a leading children’s charity in East Anglia and this is a good way to support children and families affected by homelessness and imprisonment. This will help us to prevent homelessness and support families from Gypsy and Traveller communities, as well as run children’s centres and offer a range of support to parents.”

Ian Blackhurst commented: “This is a novel way to raise money for a serious cause, to help make life better for children in the East of England region who are facing homelessness, poverty and abuse.

“In previous years, this event has raised thousands of pounds, so I’m going to need people to dig deep to get me out!” Ian added. “I am glad to be able to help Ormiston Families to support the many challenged children and families they assist each year across six counties in the East of England.”

Ian joins a distinguished line up of previous prestigious participants in Jail and Bail, which includes Police and Crime Commissioners, Barristers, Superintendents, Lords, Ladies, Councillors, and even a Knight of the Realm. 

To help set Ian free, donations can be made at:

Ormiston Families is a leading charity for children, young people and their families in the East of England.  Included in their work is a Young Parents’ Housing Project in Wisbech, which is a supported accommodation project for teenage parents facing homelessness. Ormiston Families also provides support and advice to young mothers living in flats in Cambridgeshire that are managed by Sanctuary Housing Association. To find out more about Ormiston Families, visit