PRESS RELEASE: Support for Dads service receives £2,500 grant from Winchester Rotary

 In Grants/funding, Media

Friends of the Family’s Support for Dads service has received a grant of £2,500 from Winchester Rotary to continue its work offering counselling to male prisoners at HMP Winchester who are nearing their release date. The grant will ensure the service, provided by Counsellor Charlie Wright, will continue to the end of 2020.

Friends of the Family have been providing the service at the prison for more than four years. When a funding gap appeared in 2020, they contacted Winchester Rotary for help.

Winchester Rotary President Mike Billington, said: “The prison has a significant presence in our community and when we heard of the possible loss of the important counselling role Friends of the Family provides, we were extremely happy to offer funding to ensure the service is able to continue to the end of 2020.”

Thanking Winchester Rotary for the grant, Karen Hazlitt, Chair of Trustees at Friends of the Family, said: “We are delighted that Winchester Rotary has provided the grant to allow Charlie to continue his work mentoring prisoners who are close to release. His work has had a hugely positive impact and we are delighted that it can continue for another year. We are also grateful to Spurgeons charity who are funding Charlie’s travel costs when he visits dads after release to help them settle and reunite with their families.”

Commenting on the grant, Prison Governor James Bourke said: “We know the power of family to help prisoners desist from crime and I am delighted that HMP Winchester is benefitting from the generosity of the Rotary Club who fund the counselling provided by Friends of the Family. This work provides bespoke interventions for fathers in prison and after release into the community. The hope, trust and advice provided by Charlie leads prisoners away from crime, preventing victims and bringing normality to troubled families.”

Pictured at HMP Winchester are: (L to R) Deputy Governor Susie Richardson, Friends of the Family Chair of Trustees Karen Hazlitt, Winchester Rotary President Mike Billington, Winchester Rotary Community Service Chair Ian Valentine, Counsellor Charlie Wright, and Winchester Prison Governor James Rourke.