The Prison Advice and Care Trust (Pact), a national charity which supports prisoners, people with convictions and their families, today appeared on BBC Breakfast with supporter Michael Palin, showcasing the charity’s Comic Relief funded work with prisoners’ children and premiering their brand new animations featuring the stories and voices of children who they support.
This year, Pact has been working closely with children who have a parent in prison, providing one to one mentoring and group support, and working with their parents/carers and schools to provide them with the emotional and practical support they need. Pact has also trained several hundred police officers across London, to raise awareness of the needs of prisoners’ children. As part of this work, Pact has collaborated with the children to create a series of animations, in which you can hear the children’s own voices, telling their experiences of police home raids, prison visits and giving them the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts around their parent’s imprisonment in a creative way. Pact commissioned an animator, thanks to a Comic Relief grant, to work directly with the children, so that they could create their own characters for the films.
Pact has also, with the input of the children and young people, developed a children and young people’s hub on their website which includes online resources and information for children and young people with a parent in prison, parents and carers, police, social workers and teachers.
Actor, travel writer and Monty Python star Michael Palin has long supported Pact’s work with prisoners’ families and kindly lent his voice to the animations, taking time out of his hectic schedule to meet the children, and inviting them to the studio to watch him record his voiceover for the films.
Pact’s CEO Andy Keen-Downs said: “Over 200,000 children and young people experience the imprisonment of a family member every year in the UK, through no fault of their own. Our message to these children is that you are not alone, you are not to blame, and we believe in you. Thanks to Comic Relief and Michael Palin, and some talented, courageous young people, Pact is offering hope and support and aims to raise awareness of these children’s hidden needs and their talents and potential.”
To watch the animation series and hear Ollie, Kyra and Brandon’s stories, please click here: www.prisonadvice.org.uk/Pages/Category/for-children
For online resources and more information about Pact's work with young people, visit: www.prisonadvice.org.uk/children-and-young-people
To find out more about Pact see: www.prisonadvice.org.uk
Pact works in partnership with Families Outside who provide similar services in Scotland. See: www.familiesoutside.org.uk
If you are in Scotland and need support you can call reach them on their freephone support & information helpline on 0800 254 0088.