Sorry readers if you have missed me. I have returned, with a blog post very dear to my heart.
As some of you may be aware, I am walking the whole of Cornwall – 364 miles to be precise – to raise money for charity. I will be walking for 28 days (between 11 and 19 miles a day) over 32 days. I am hoping to raise £1500 for Spurgeons Invisible walls.
Spurgeons – Invisible walls project is a family support service based at HMP Winchester, a local category B/C prison. The charity works in partnership with the prison to support fathers in custody and their families. Those who visit the prison can receive information about local services at the visitor’s centre, which is manned by volunteers. Volunteers are also there to offer support, cups of tea and listen to those visiting the prison. Without this centre, visitors would have to wait up to an hour in the cold, waiting to be processed before entering the prison. Visiting a prison for the first time can be a stressful experience. Spurgeons aims to alleviate some of that stress and make the process as enjoyable as possible for families and children visiting the prison.
Spurgeons also offers support via a small play-area inside the visit-hall. Having the play-area means that children can take a game back to their table to play with, and enjoy with their father. It also means that mothers and fathers can have some alone time together, knowing that their child is having an enjoyable time in the play-area. Volunteers also work inside play-area, to try make children’s visits the most enjoyable they can be.
Within the prison, Invisible walls offers parenting programme, homework clubs, workshops and family days for fathers in custody. They aim to help fathers maintain a healthy relationship with their children, when possible, both during custody and on release into the community.
Now why am I telling you all this?
Well in the hope that you might donate to my charity walk. Spurgeons Invisible walls is a worthy charity that needs your support.
But mostly because prisoners and prisoners families are often denied the support they need. Prisoners and their families are treated as an ‘invisible group’ within society.
One-half of prisoners are fathers of children under the age of 18.
It is estimated that 200,000 children are affected by parental imprisonment across England and Wales.
Parental imprisonment can disrupt marital and family relationships, negatively affect children and aggravate family life. Families and children of prisoners should not be punished, but should be offered support and help during this time.
During my time as a volunteer at Spurgeons, I saw how small actions can really help families and children of prisoners’. Simply by offering children a game to play with their fathers, or giving a mother a cup of tea at the visitor’s centre, made all the difference. Fathers supported inside the prison were more readily prepared for life after prison, and are better equipped to parent.
This is why I am walking 364 miles of the South West Coastal path. But I’m not sure I’ll walk 364 more!
Please donate to Spurgeon’s invisible walls and help me reach my goal of raising £1500. Help families and their daddies who are ‘working for the queen’. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emily-Edwards-Little
If you do not wish to donate to Spurgeons but like my challenge, then please check out James’ Just Giving page. He is walking the South West Coastal path with me and is raising money for Book Trust: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamesgregory21?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=jamesgregory21&utm_campaign=pfp-share
Love Em (The Little Blogger).
If you want to read about my struggles with training you can visit my Just Giving page and also see cute pictures of my dogs: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emily-Edwards-Little
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