Charity Police, Fire & Court

What would it be like to have a parent in prison?

By John Charlton

On Thursday evening (22 March) Sir Trevor McDonald joined an audience of beneficiaries and supporters of Oxford based charity Children Heard and Seen, a charity that supports children with a parent in prison.

Sir Trevor McDonald along with Author Danny Lee and illustrator Korky Paul were invited to judge the art work of children from around the country who had depicted through art their thoughts and feelings about what it’s like to have a parent in prison. The evening included the premier of a short film by Luke, aged 10 which gave the perspective from a child with a parent in prison and what life is like.

The event had 120 guests in attendance including some of the family’s benefiting from the work of the charity. Grandmother Bridget said “the work of Charity has completely changed our lives, before this there were no services or organisations out there to support us”

Sir Trevor Mc Donald said “if we don’t support the children of people in prison we add another dimension to the problem of incarcerating people”

Sir Trevor applauded the great work that the charity was doing to break the cycle of offending and ensuring this generation of young people where appropriately supported and that society recognises the challenges faced by these children

Film maker Luke said “What I want to get around to children whose parents are in prison, is that you haven’t done anything wrong. So, whatever anyone says, you haven’t done anything wrong. So, live your life how a kid is meant to live their life.”

Sarah Burrows, Charity founder said “It was a wonderful event where I am very grateful to everyone who attended and has continued to support our charities mission of supporting children and families who have a parent in prison. The difficulties we faced trying to identify the children to submit entries for the competition showcases how much these children and families remain hidden to wider society, we know they are out there but even the schools that educate them may not even know of their challenging situation. We are here to support them and ask that any schools, communities do all they can to work with us so we can better support those children who are in need”

For further information visit the CHAS website www.childrenheardandseen.co.uk