THE annual Angel Tree project was developed by the Prison Fellowship to give parents in prison the opportunity to send a Christmas present to their children.
The Prison Fellowship applied to Kent Community Foundation for funding for the 2023 Angel Tree and was awarded a total of £4,000 from two of their philanthropic funds.
Andy Prescott, Head of Fundraising and Communications, at Prison Fellowship said:
“Christmas is especially difficult for people in prison and their children. The Angel Tree lessens the devastation experienced as a result of parental absence by not only helping families connect and build relationships but by providing children with much-needed joy.
“Prison Fellowship volunteers work with prison chaplains and local churches to buy, wrap and deliver the presents. As long as people in prison are allowed access to their children, they are given the opportunity to apply for a gift to be sent to them. Each Christmas present is despatched as though from the parent in prison and is accompanied by a personal, handwritten message from the parent to their child which makes it extra special. The gifts are personalised as it is incredibly significant that a parent remembers their child, misses them, but especially knows them well enough to pick the right present.”
Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact, Kent Community Foundation said:
“We received an application for funding to support the Angel Tree programme for gifts for prisoners children in four Kent prisons. Angel Tree is a very simple and incredibly rewarding way to help prisoners stay in contact with their families during imprisonment, which can contribute to reducing re-offending rates. We had previously awarded funding for the 2021 Angel Tree and we were delighted to help again with £4,000 from two of the philanthropic funds we manage, which like to support initiatives that aim to improve the lives of disadvantaged vulnerable, marginalised or at-risk children.”
Angel Tree supports people in prison in their family relationships, providing a way for them to give Christmas presents to their children. The focus is on promoting and building relationships between children and their parent in prison, contributing to family cohesion, and in turn a reduction in reoffending. Children and young people who have a parent in prison are the unseen victims of crime, serving an unintended ‘hidden sentence’, caught up in events over which they have no control.
To contact Kent Community Foundation about funding for charities and community groups call 01303 814500, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.kentcf.org.uk/funding.