Justice Family brings Hope to families at Christmas Time

The Prison Fellowship NI received an early Christmas present from the Northern Ireland Prison Service and Probation Board NI this morning, as they received a sack full of toys to support their festive appeal.

The Christmas Hope appeal, held annually by the Prison Fellowship, provides much-needed help for the families and children of those in prison, with hampers and toys for prisoners’ families at a time when they can feel most alone and forgotten.

Last year the Prison Fellowship provided almost 500 toy parcels for children across Northern Ireland, and with the help of both NIPS and PBNI, this year’s appeal response has been ever bigger.

Receiving the welcome donation, Robin Scott, Chief Executive of the Prison Fellowship NI said: “The practical support received from NI Prison Service and Probation Board staff will make a real difference to the families that we support through Christmas Hope.

“And while the immediate benefit will be a hamper and toys for children delivered before Christmas, our experience shows that many families struggle throughout the year; with limited support, fear, stigma and isolation being the reality for many. These gifts build trust and confidence for families and they know that Prison Fellowship are genuinely interested in offering ongoing support despite the crime or crimes committed.”

Making the Prison Service’s donation, Director General, Ronnie Armour said: “We are genuinely honoured to be able to support such a worthy cause, and to pass on the many donations which have come from staff right across the Prison Service.

“We are acutely aware of the impact that imprisonment has on families, and this is just one more way our staff show their commitment to supporting the wider community,” he added.

Commenting on the generosity of Probation Board for Northern Ireland staff, PBNI Chief Executive Amanda Stewart said: “Each year the Senior leadership team in PBNI make the ask to our staff to help those less fortunate than themselves at Christmas.

“The people we work with, and their families are some of the most marginalised in society. Many children and families are facing a tough Winter. I hope this contribution will help those in hardship and make Christmas a little brighter.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Photo Caption: NI Prison Service Director General, Ronnie Armour and Probation Board for Northern Ireland Chief Executive Amanda Stewart are pictured with Robin Scott, Chief Executive of the Prison Fellowship NI, among the many gifts which have been donated by their staff to the Fellowship’s Christmas Hope Appeal which provides much-needed help for the families and children of those in prison.
  2. Donations from NIPS were collected from staff across the entire prisons estate including Magilligan, Maghaberry, Hydebank Wood College, Headquarters and PECCS.
  3. Prison Fellowship Northern Ireland is a Belfast based charity, providing spiritual, emotional, social and physical support to prisoners, released prisoners and their families.
  4. Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via email at press.office@justice-ni.gov.uk
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