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Charity prison initiative wins national award

 Children’s charity Spurgeons’ Invisible Walls service at HMP/YOI Winchester has won a prestigious Family Support accolade at the Children and Young People Now Awards (CYPN) 2016.

The Invisible Walls Family Support Service provides parenting support to fathers within the prison, as well as delivering advice and information through its visitors’ centre. Invisible Walls was also highly commended in the partnership working category.

The service was shortlisted for the Family Support and Partnership Working awards after demonstrating its impact on families. Ensuring prison visits are a less stressful and more positive experience for children encourages more frequent visits and maintains family ties.

Judges from the CYPN Awards described Invisible Walls as “life-changing, innovative and outstanding”.

Stephanie Roberts-Bibby, Governor at HMP Winchester, commented: “The Spurgeons team do amazing work to support our men to be the best dad/family member they can. They work tirelessly to reduce the impact imprisonment has on children's lives. We're grateful for their energy, dedication, commitment and insight in helping the men at Winchester to change their lives.


“Their work has rightly been recognised by winning the Family Support category and receiving highly commended in the Partnership Working Category at this year’s Children & Young People Now 2016 Awards. These Awards acknowledge the difference the family days, homework club, parenting programmes and one to one work make to the children of those in prison and the men themselves.”

Ross Hendry, Spurgeons Chief Executive, added: “This is a well-deserved testament to the Invisible Walls team, who work tirelessly to support Dads, and their children, who are serving custodial sentences. I am very proud of everything that has been achieved at Invisible Walls and grateful to Children and Young People Now for recognising their hard work and commitment.”

Spurgeons’ work in prisons includes helping children, young people and their families to ensure that the cycle of inter-generational offending is broken. This includes: specialist support for children experiencing the loss of a parent through imprisonment, child-centred family visiting support, and family based intervention to help prevent offending and reoffending.

Invisible Walls is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Photo: L-R - A CYPN judge, Kerry Longhorn, Vicky Baird, Cathy Roberts and Stephanie Roberts-Bibby

Note to editors:

Spurgeons is one of the UK's leading children's charities, supporting children and families affected by social disadvantage.  In the last year, we delivered 88 services, reaching over 37,000 children and 64,000 parents or carers.   Through a range a range of projects, we work with:

Ø  Children, young people or families who are struggling to cope with their difficulties

Ø  Children and young people who carry emotional burdens and heavy responsibility

Ø  Children and young people who have been, or are at significant risk of been harmed or exploited

For more information about our work and the people we support, please follow this link to our website: https://www.spurgeons.org/our-services/families-and-criminal-justice or contact Lauren Baldridge in our press office:

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