Storybook Dads

Storybook Dads

Spurgeons staff help dads to keep in touch with their children through the Storybook Dads reading scheme in our prison-based family support services.

There's something very special about a parent and child sharing a book at bedtime, but those moments are lost when the parent is in prison.

Spurgeons staff help dads to keep in touch with their children through the Storybook Dads reading scheme in our prison-based family support services. 


 Dads can record and read a book of their choice for their child, which is then made into a CD or online recording by the national charity Storybook Dads, who bring it to life by adding in music and sound effects before sending it to the family together with a copy of the book. 


Why is Storybook Dads is so important?

This programme enables families to reconnect with one another, through the importance of storytelling, and allows the child affected by a parent’s imprisonment, to retain a positive relationship with them and keep a positive emotional bond, despite them not being present in the family home.  

Supporting dads wanting to be better fathers... whatever their situation 

Sharon Berry, who founded the Storybook Dads charity, said: ''It can be quite difficult to run this scheme in prisons because of security and regime restrictions and each establishment may have its own set of challenges. Yet the Spurgeons team have been able to successfully deliver Storybook Dads for many years and that means a lot of children's lives have been made happier because of it.'' 

What impact does Storybook Dads have on families?  

Making a recording is very important to me because it means I can still have some connection with my children while I am serving a prison sentence... I used to read to them all the time. This means I can still sort of be there for the children... being able to record a story for them really means a lot... so thank you.

Each year Storybook Dads works in around 100 prisons to help more than 5,000 prisoners record bedtime stories for their children.

Storybook Dads is often a memorable and emotional experience for families, as it gives the children the chance to listen to their dad's voice whenever they want to - the timing and length of phone calls home is difficult to guarantee.

It is a reminder for children to know that they are loved and missed. 

At HMP Winchester, our team are also involved in making video recordings, so children can see as well as hear their dad! 

That CD was brilliant - she loves it... she kept kissing it. It was really emotional thing for him to have done for her.

Further support from the Spurgeons prisons team: