Spurgeons Invisible Walls Service
supporting children and fathers separated by imprisonment
This Christmas, please give support and hope to more families like Rylie's
Phil did not know if he would ever meet his baby daughter, Rylie who was born with Cystic Fibrosis. At two days old, she had been rushed into surgery as her mum, Di, waited outside. Alone. Phil was desperate to hold his little girl but that wasn't possible.
Phil found himself in a position where his past was directly impacting his present, and he was devastated.
''I accept that I had done wrong, but I wasn't expecting to go into prison,'' Phil admits. ''It was the week before Christmas and Di was eight months pregnant...our world collapsed around us...I felt I should be there to support my family, but I couldn't.''
A gift of £9 could provide a Dad and his family with a communication pack to enable them to share experiences whilst separated by lockdown.
Phil needed a miracle. On hearing the desperate situation the family were in, Spurgeons Invisible Walls colleagues, presented the case to the prison Governor, requesting to allow Phil to be with Rylie and support Di; an extraordinary request that they never expected would be granted.
''We recognised Phil as a dad, not a prisoner. We always tell those we support that we are not interested in why they are in prison; we are here for them as a dad.''- Kerry, Family Services Manager at HMP Winchester
Phil and Rylie enjoying a cuddle and a book together during a Family Day visit organised by the Invisible Walls Team at HMP Winchester
A gift of £18 could help children hear their Dad's voice on Christmas day, through an audio recording of him reading them a story.
Phil says it best in his own words, just how much of a difference Spurgeons made:
''It's not just life changing for me, it was life changing for my wife and kids too, it absolutely kept us together. It was the difference between life and death for me. Seriously it was.'
Spurgeons supports many fathers at HMP Winchester through our Invisible Walls programme. From our experience, a strong family relationship, and the desire to get home, is helping dads in prison get their lives back on track, and stay on track, after release.
The award-winning Spurgeons Invisible Walls service has supported almost 40,000 visitors through our visitors centre and 9,200 children through our play area that is open during prison visits. The service has supported approximately 1,750 fathers in custody through casework.
Invisible Walls has won praise from Lord Farmer, whose Review stressed the importance of strengthening prisoners' family ties in the prevention of reoffending and intergenerational crime.
A gift of £36 could help us support more Dads like Phil through 1:1 work, bringing families together, keeping families together.
Christmas can be an especially difficult time, both for dads in prison, and the families affected by a prison sentence. Your donation can help support a family when they need it the most, helping dads be great parents to their children, enabling them to bond as a family under the most extreme of circumstances.
Your support can help strengthen families, protect children, and restore hope this Christmas. Thank You.
Prefer to donate over the phone? Call 01933 417059 Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm.