Marie Curtis: Lost but never forgotten - with loving memory

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

Marie Curtis was the ‘driving force’ behind HALOW (Birmingham) for 20 years from 1985 until her death in 2005. A mother of seven herself, she saw the plight of families thrown into turmoil by a jail sentence and decided to do something about it. She persuaded the City Council to let her use a small terraced house around the corner from Birmingham Prison in Winson Green that soon became a hub for support and information for prisoners’ families at a time when there was nowhere else to turn.

For 20 years she championed the cause of prisoners’ families, running a support centre and 24-hr help-line that became a Registered Charity in 1990. Five years later, in 1996, HALOW (Birmingham) took over the running of Birmingham Prison Visitors’ Centre where Marie became Coordinator and Director of the charity. She wrote a booklet ‘Serving The Second Sentence’ that helped hundreds of families cope with the trauma of separation. A forceful and passionate public speaker, Marie spoke at many conferences and national events to raise awareness of the needs of prisoners’ families. She spoke ‘from the heart;’ and from her own lived experience as a ‘lifer’s wife’.

Jane Bailey, HALOW’s current Chair said: “With Marie, the saying ‘once met, never forgotten’ would be a fitting epitaph. Not afraid to speak her mind – passionate, determined and with a huge sense of humour. She shared her personal story as a prisoner’s wife with honesty and dignity.”
HALOW (Birmingham) is the lasting legacy of Marie’s vision; she would be proud to see how the charity has grown to a major provider of services for prisoners’ families across the West Midlands.

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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