We are a small charity which aims to improve the lives and early education of babies living in prison with their mothers.
Regular annual projects are:
- Books for each baby in the summer
- Individual Christmas gifts
In addition, trustees consider requests from the mother and baby unit staff at any time. These may be for:
- Equipment and educational toys
- Payment for a series of lessons and/or transport to swimming lessons, a Sure Start centre etc.
- Payment for day trips eg. to a children’s farm
Trustees may also suggest ideas to encourage optimum use of opportunities such as prison libraries and cooking facilities.
NURSERY NURSE Bulletin
This project was set up and run by the Nursery Manager at Eastwood Park, in conjunction with BIP, in 2008. Several editions have been published and the current co-ordinator is a nursery nurse from New Hall. It is hoped that the nursery nurses will continue with this useful method of sharing ideas and concerns.
Many of the mothers have limited funds, therefore at Christmas Babies In Prison provides an appropriate gift for each baby and toddler, taking into consideration ethnicity, special needs or any other relevant factor.
The charity, including volunteers, has a wrapping day, where gifts are wrapped, labelled and prepared for despatch (hand knitted clothes may be added for each child also) to the prisons in time for Christmas. Prison staff work hard to make the day special and often join the mothers in unwrapping the gifts.
All children respond to books appropriate to their age group. Each summer books are sent to the children living in the Mother and Baby Units. Over the years many mothers in the Mother and Baby Units have been amazed to see their babies responding so positively when shown and encouraged to hold and turn the pages of a book. Apart from encouraging them to value reading to their children this will benefit their own lives.
As with the Christmas gift project, the procedure for obtaining first name details of the babies and toddlers is followed. A trustee or other appointed person, with the able assistance of a children’s book buyer from a national bookseller, selects appropriate books which are individually wrapped and despatched to the prisons.
In the summer of 2016 twenty five books were sent to the children living in the Mother and Baby Units.
With Bookstart now supplying a bag of books to all children at nine and fourteen months, the importance of literacy and communication is recognised and BIP builds on this.