The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded Pact (the Prison Advice and Care Trust) £9,710 to support children and families affected by imprisonment at two Yorkshire prisons as part of its ‘Families Matter’ project.

Replicating successful work with children and families at HMP Swansea, ‘Families Matter’ will empower families affected by imprisonment to have a say in maintaining positive relationships during their loved ones’ sentences. Working with HMPPS, the Pact team will facilitate regular meetings between senior prison staff and family members and engage with local schools to improve support for children and young people in the community.

Families provide a vital source of support and encouragement to prisoners. Regular contact can help improve prisoners’ health and wellbeing and create safer prison environments. Supporting families to visit their loved ones also helps the broader community in the long term, as prisoners who receive visits from family members are nearly 40% less likely to reoffend. In addition, supporting children and young people is proven to reduce some of the harm caused by imprisonment and effectively breaks cycles of intergenerational crime.

Pact’s Deputy Head of Services for the North and East Midlands, Chloe Duxbury, said: “We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund for their generous support of families in Yorkshire. We look forward to launching the project this month with our first meeting for families and prison staff, and will shortly be inviting members to plan their own family day – an extended prison visit with bonding activities for children and their loved ones.”