November 13th, 2016

“You are among the nicest people I have ever known, both staff and volunteers. You will never be forgotten for the thoughtfulness you have shown”

November 13th, 2016

“You are all so kind and made me feel like a respected human being again and not just a prisoner’s wife. Believe me that was so comforting and humbling.”

June 3rd, 2016

The charity HALOW (Birmingham) operates a designated help and support line for the families and friends of prisoners at HMP Birmingham on 0121 598 8050


The Deputy Manager (DM) of the centre recognised some visitors who had been to this prison previously. The female visitor (F) came with her partner, who the DM also knew. F was quite distressed as she had one son in HMP Oakwood and now a further son at HMYOI Brinsford.

The DM took them aside and spoke to both F and her partner, who said their son at HMYOI Brinsford was a really quiet boy and was small for his age and just 18. The DM tried to reassure them they may feel better after they had seen him.

After F and her partner returned from their visit the DM asked the visitors’ partner how Fs son had been. Fs partner confirmed he was fine but he had come out in spots all over his face and had only been there since the previous Wednesday. The DM suggested he may be stressed and also the weather had been quite sticky. Fs partner also repeated that he was quiet and small for his age and he had noticed cut marks on his arms; something which he had not done before.

The DM called his mother over and asked if these cuts were know to the prison staff but F she didn’t know if they knew but it must have been noticed by the prison staff. The DM suggested that if Fs son was having problems he may need to be put on an ACCT Plan (Assessment, Care in Custody and Treatment Plan). This would then enable him to be monitored and whatever needs he may have, would then be assessed. The DM also suggested to the mother and partner to telephone the Safer Custody line and gave her the number. The DM also confirmed they would do this themselves the next day also.

The next day the DM couldn’t wait to get to work to check on this young vulnerable prisoner. The DM spoke immediately to Safer Custody and enquired if the prisoner was on an ACCT. The DM is pleased to report he was, which was a relief to both the DM and his mother.

Visiting a prison is stressful in itself; add into the equation a mother visiting her son for the first time and the stress is sometimes hard to bear.

A few months ago we dealt with a mother in this very situation.

Mrs A arrived at our centre in a very distressed state. She was visibly upset and shaking uncontrollably. After initially trying to calm her whilst going through the booking-in procedure, we went and sat with her to explain what would happen and how her visit would proceed that day. We also explained that until she had actually gone through the procedure she would not realise that it was not as bad as she feared. We also asked her to come and see us again at the end of her visit, so that we were reassured she had had a successful and less stressful experience.

She came to us on her return and was visibly much calmer and relaxed. She told us of a few problems that her son was having difficulty with and we contacted the relevant departments to inform them of the problems which allayed the mother’s fears.

Staff saw her on many occasions after this initial visit and over that time built up her confidence and we noticed a dramatic change from that first day she arrived.

We received a letter from Mrs A thanking us for our support and guidance at such a stressful time.

HALOW Case Studies & News

Macmillian Cake and Coffee afternoons

The Staff and visitors at HMP Oakwood Family Pathway Centre rasied a total of £253 during our Macmillan cake and coffee afternoons, “thank you for your support to a good cause”. for more information visit Macmillan’s website:

HMP Featherstone Childrens Work over Christmas

Over the Christmas period the children have been making and personalising their own Christmas arts and crafts to in the visitors’ Centre in HMP Featherstone, we also had the opportunity for Father Christmas to visit during the Christmas week for all the children to meet and be given a gift. This was well received by the visitors and the child

HMP Oakwood's Community Engagement

Over the last few weeks, the children have been creating their own tree decorations for the HMP Oakwood Family Pathway Christmas Tree. Once dressed, the FPC tree took part in a Christmas Tree Festival at a local church near to Stafford. Over 40 trees were exhibited in the church over the weekend of the 2nd to the 4th December 2016. The FPC tree was

Xmas Arts and Crafts

Over the past few weeks the children have been making and personalising their own stockings to display next to the Oakwood fire place in the Family Pathway Centre, create a warm relaxing display.

HMP Featherstone QAVS Ceremony

HMP Featherstone QAVS Presentation Ceremony On 29 September 2014, the Lord-Lieutenant visited HMP Featherstone Visitors Centre to present volunteers with their Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. The Help & Advice Line for Offender’s Wives, Partners and Families (known as HALOW (Birmingham) for short) started life in the mid 1980’s in

Oakwood Supporting Children who Visit

One of our prisoners has a family of 4 children, two girls and two boys. The oldest boy who is 7 years old suffers from severe Autism. Before we took up our posts as children’s workers his mother told us that he would become quite anxious waiting to be called through for the visit. He would listen for his group to be called and would get anxious wa

HALOW BIRMINGHAM is grateful for support from

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