This Christmas, we will be running our Angel Tree programme once again. In 2021. we sent 4,624 gifts to children with a parent in prison – a huge achievement amid the Covid pandemic.
Across England and Wales, our wonderful Angel Tree coordinators are already working on this year’s programme. We caught up with three of them to find out more.
Hazel is based at a men’s prison in South East England. This is her sixth year as an Angel Tree Coordinator. ‘The Managing Chaplain is very enthusiastic about Angel Tree. She has asked for 1,200 application forms to make sure each man will get one under his cell door!’
Joanne lives in North East England working in a Young Offenders’ Institution. She explains, ‘We have ordered Angel Tree leaflets and other advertising to hand out to churches in the area to start promoting it.’
George is in his second year as an Angel Tree Coordinator. He reflects, ‘Some people in prison give an indication of what gift to buy, others are quite out of touch with their children, so we pray that each child is blessed by the gift that they will receive. And that’s very much our thought as we go through the process of wrapping presents and ensuring they each get to the right place.’
Angel Tree is an incredibly meaningful programme for many families dealing with the impact of imprisonment. But it also bears a lot of personal significance to our Angel Tree Coordinators.
Joanne confirms, ‘We know that sending presents to their kids through Angel Tree can enhance relationships. It also gives the men in prison something positive to focus on. And I love being part of that.
Hazel told us the personal story of her calling to Angel Tree: ‘I am a paediatrician and I love working with children. I also have a special heart for people in prison. And so, when I learnt of an opportunity to help run Angel Tree, I thought, “I must serve here.”’
George in South Wales recounts, ‘I took this on last year when no one else was available to do it. I could not face the thought of this falling away by default. I love the idea that these children, who are innocent in all of this, are waking up on Christmas morning and receiving a gift through our work. It’s what keeps us all going.’
Join us for Angel Tree 2022 as we prepare to support even more families impacted by imprisonment.
- volunteer with your local Angel Tree team
- support this important work with your generous donation.
- pray that local churches would be willing to support local Angel Tree Coordinators
- pray that God guides Angel Tree teams as they purchase gifts and prepare them for posting.
- pray that these gifts would support and repair relationships between many parents and their children this Christmas
- pray that completed application forms would be quickly processed by prison security staff
Find out more about Angel Tree by visiting prisonfellowship.org.uk/get-involved/angel-tree