Latest news from Sova Visiting Mum
Visiting Mum Project
Visiting Mum is an innovative project delivered in partnership with PACT, and funded through the Big Lottery Fund. The project has been running since September 2014 and the children whose mothers are in custody are really benefitting from the support our wonderful volunteers are providing them with. Here’s a little news about what we’ve been up to…….
Family Activity Events
The project held summer family activity event on the 17th July 2015 and Christmas family activity on 18th December 2016 at HMP Eastwood Park. The events celebrated family time together and children’s birthdays. Mothers and children participated in arts and craft activities, face paints and outdoor sport activities, hot food served by staff and volunteers. These events gave families the opportunities to meet other families. Volunteers supported families to access these events and mini buses were provided for families. Families are looking forward to the Easter activity event on the 24th March 2016. Three mini buses are booked to transport 12 families with 27 children and their carers.
“It’s like a big party” described by Paula (grandparent who attended the previous events with her grandson).
Visiting Mum Conference:
The Visiting Mum Project held its first conference for professionals on the 14th October at Cottrell Park Golf Resort. More than 40 professionals attended the conference. There were presentations from staff at HMP Eastwood Park, Family Intervention Workers, Volunteer Coordinator, Project Volunteer and Service User. At the conference a tool kit for professionals were launched, which consisted of case studies, useful tips for children and their carers, and child friendly activities for professionals and volunteers use whilst working with children affected by parental imprisonment.
To date we have received 34 referrals, and have supported 29 families (51 children and 32 carers). We have a pool of 13 volunteers who are working with us to provide this support.
This is what people involved in the project have to say about our service:
“I enjoyed visiting mummy” child aged 5
“I want to spend time with mum on my birthday” Child aged 10
“Without Visiting Mum and the volunteer support I wouldn’t have coped, Thank you” Sister, Swansea.
“Thank you so much for taking me and my daughter, she had a good time” Father, Newport.
“My Granddaughter had a great time at the visit, there were lots of activities for them to do, we can’t thank you enough” Grandmother, Caerphilly.
“I just wanted to write to you a brief note to thank you for all your help and kindness with bringing my son and daughter into see me, it is a long way. I honestly believe it has made a huge difference to them seeing me for a whole 2 ½ hours. It has helped me so very much knowing that you will bring them every month. Thank you for going to the house and spending time with my son and helping him write the letters to me. You are a very kind person. Thank you so very much it has helped us more than you will ever know. Thank you.”