Tribute: John Holcroft - Lost but never forgotten - with loving memory
Board Trustee from 1997 to 2012

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

John was for many years a dedicated member of the Management Committee of HALOW (Birmingham) until his passing in December 2012. He allowed us to use his centre in Queens Head Road, Handsworth for meetings and gave helpful advice to us at all times. He was totally supportive and gave his time willingly. He was a kind man, with a great sense of humour. His Christianity informed everything he did for other people.

Yorkshire born and Lancashire raised, John moved to the West Midlands after travelling the world serving in the Merchant Navy.

A self-employed builder, John had a passion for helping the helpless, taking on the projects that no one else wanted to take on. His community achievements are numerous, including setting up an old peoples’ home in Handsworth Wood, opening the Lady Mary Hospitality Home (which later turned into a hostel for ex-offenders), converting a shop into a mini Advice Centre for the local community including the elderly, creating a charity called ‘Law Leisure and Learning’, acquiring a building in Handsworth and turning it into a multi-cultural centre (which he later gave to Kurdish refugees), acquiring a second building in Handsworth that still runs today as a youth training centre and, finally, acquiring premises called the ‘Villa Road Community Hall’ which he ran as an empowerment centre for local people.

Alongside his dedication to inner city Handsworth, he made time to support HALOW (Birmingham) for over 15 years and for this we are immensely grateful.

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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