Published on 08 November 2022

Breaking Barriers Christmas Campaign

29 November 2022

This year, Ormiston Families has been selected to participate in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, the UK’s largest match funding campaign. We are raising funds to co-create resources for our Breaking Barriers service. Through workshops, our Practitioners and Breaking Barriers Youth Forum, will shape the content, voice and experiences of Dylan and other characters in a new film and a book. As well as supporting the work of our Practitioners, these new resources will help raise awareness amongst Schools and communities of the hidden needs and challenges these children face and how they can support children with a parent or carer in prison.

Stigma, fear of bullying and social exclusion prevents children of prisoners from revealing themselves and they remain hidden victims. A neglected and vulnerable group, they are left to pick up the pieces on their own and receive no support to manage emotions that are too large and confusing for most of them to handle without help. Profound change alongside feelings of abandonment, loss, isolation and helplessness, parallel experiences of bereavement. Trauma can be even more acute when children witnessed the arrest. Without intervention they can suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety which have a devastating impact on their wellbeing, self-esteem, schooling, relationships, and life chances. We know that up to 65% of boys with a father in prison go on to reoffend themselves – so early intervention is critical for breaking the cycle.

Breaking Barriers provides children affected by imprisonment with a safe space to process this trauma. Using talking therapy, stories, arts and craft-based activities, our practitioners help them explore their feelings, improve their wellbeing, and build skills to help navigate a positive future. Involving children and families in creating resources and, using their experiences to support others in similar situations, will ensure they are relatable and have real impact.

How you can get involved

When The Big Give Christmas Challenge begins on 29th November 2022, you will have until 12pm on 6th December 2022 to make a donation to our campaign. During this time, all donations to our campaign are doubled, meaning your donation has twice the impact.

You can view our campaign on The Big Give website by clicking here or the link below. We’ll be counting down to the beginning of the Christmas Challenge on our website and social media, so stay tuned to find out exactly when you can make your donation.