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Introduction

Spurgeons team at HMP Swaleside bring some seasonal joy to children and families affected by imprisonment

Spurgeons team at HMP Swaleside bring some seasonal joy to children and families affected by imprisonment

Spurgeons Prison-based family support services at HMP Swaleside have been providing families with the chance to experience some normality over the Easter period thanks to the generous donations of ‘good eggs’ amongst the community. 

Over the spring and Easter period, the Spurgeons team at HMP Swaleside would normally be busy running family day’s for children visiting a parent at the prison. These days would have provided families the opportunity to experience a form of ‘normality’ by enabling them to spend time together experiencing events such as giving their children an Easter egg or taking part in arts and craft activities as a family, providing that vital bonding time for dad’s and their children.

However, as restrictions have continued the team have had to look for new ways to provide some seasonal joy to the families who are unable to see one another during this time. In an effort to spread happiness to the residents and their families during the current lockdown the team organised ‘spring workshops’ for residents to apply to attend. In these covid-19 secure craft sessions, residents could create an Easter themes gift and card that the Spurgeons team could then send home to their loved ones. As these sessions were held just before mothers day, residents also had the opportunity to make gifts for their children to give to their mothers.

In addition to the craft sessions, the team have been active in the community on the Isle of Sheppey throughout the last year and have been lucky to receive generous donations from local businesses through the links they have made which will further benefit the children and families they work with.

They have received over £200 worth of Easter Eggs from businesses on the island which will benefit 120 children of 65 residents at the prison. Over 80 residents took part in the Easter workshops the benefits to the residents and families are clear from feedback given to the team, with one resident commenting ‘‘They [the Spurgeons team] make us feel human and not just prisoners. They give me hope which is hard to come by in here’’, whilst another resident added ‘‘The support from Spurgeons does help to feel motivated to stay out and be a better person to my family and children.’’

About Spurgeons Prison-based Family Support Services:

Spurgeons delivers family support services in 12 prisons across England. These services provide family support services for prisoners and their families and friends who visit them, with a particular focus on children and strengthening family relationships. We appreciate how important prison visits are for everyone involved. Our aim is to make them less daunting so that the time spent together helps families to re-connect in a positive way. We are always here to offer practical and emotional support.

To learn more about our work in prisons, click here.