History of HALOW (Birmingham)

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

HALOW Birmingham

Our Proud History

HALOW (Birmingham) started life in the mid 1980’s in a cramped ‘two-up, two-down’ terraced house in Winson Green, Birmingham where Marie Curtis had a dedicated group of volunteers, helped other prisoners’ wives and family members through the stresses and strains of serving ‘the second sentence’. Over five years the self-help community group developed to become a registered charity in October 1990. At the 1990 Annual General Meeting it was reported that 4,000 requests for help had been dealt with during the year; a considerable achievement for one full-time member of staff and a dedicated team of volunteers offering a 24 hour helpline.

HALOW (Birmingham) has grown to become a major provider of Visitors’ Centre services, and has, in partnership with six prisons in the West Midlands area over the past 30 years. From dealing with 4,000 requests for help in 1990, the charity’s staff and volunteers assisted some 160,000 visitors’ a year at 6 prison visitors’ centres across the West Midlands by 2017.

In October 2017 visitors’ services at HMYOI Brinsford, HMP Featherstone, HMP Stafford and HMYOI Swinfen Hall was transferred to Barnardo’s. HALOW (Birmingham) continues to run services at HMP Birmingham and HMP Oakwood, together with a range of community-based projects with the aim of achieving better outcomes for people in the criminal justice system, their families and significant others.

The past 10 years has also seen an increasing awareness amongst policy-makers the positive effect maintaining and strengthening family ties can have on reducing re-offending. Recent work HALOW (Birmingham) staff have been developing includes the development of work associated around children and families.

Our charitable aims are:

A. to relieve poverty, sickness and distress among prison inmates, ex-offenders and the partners and dependants of prison inmates and ex-offenders in need of such relief.
B. to advance public education by research into domestic issues relating to prison inmates, ex-offenders and their families and to disseminate the useful results of such research

Who we are:

• We are a charity organisation
• We believe that every prisoner and his or her family should get the support they would like or need.
• We provide an information, guidance and sign posting service
• We listen to the needs of prisoners’ families
• We keep visitors up to date with all prison rules and regulations
• We hold regular surveys, forums and feedback to help shape and improve the charity.
• We run family events such as Family Days, Children’s Days, Partners Days, Father Baby Bonding Sessions (FABBS), family interventions

REGISTERED OFFICE

HALOW (Birmingham)
c/o St Martin’s Youth & Community Centre
Gooch Street
Highgate
Birmingham
B5 7HE

Telephone: 0121 707 1008

Email: admin@halowbirmingham.org.uk
Website: www.halowbirmingham.org.uk

HALOW Case Studies & News

A family from the travelling community has been attending Homework Club at HMP Oakwood FPC each Tuesday evening for 12 months; within the family are two boys aged 5 and 3. The elder boy would enter the centre initially quite boisterous, running in and out of the play area, around the tables where people eat, pushing his little brother around on a

A young mother was observed with two small children. The eldest (2 years old) was seen to be running around, letting himself out of the doors, taking toys from other children and not responding to his mothers requests. The Children’s Worker (CW) talked with the mother and found out the child had autism – she explained he struggled wit

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: www.macmillan.org.uk

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.

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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