Angel Tree

Angel Tree gives prisoners the opportunity to send a Christmas present to their children. In 2017 we sent out over 4,500 gifts!

Christmas is especially difficult for prisoners and their children. Angel Tree lessens the devastation experienced as a result of parental absence by not only helping families connect and build relationships, but by providing children with much-needed joy.

Prison Fellowship volunteers work with prison chaplains and local churches to buy, wrap and deliver the presents. As long as prisoners are allowed access to their children, they are given the opportunity to apply for a gift to be sent to them.

Each gift is dispatched as though it is from the parent in prison and is accompanied by a personal message written by the parent for their child to make the gift extra special. The parent is also given the option of including an age-appropriate Christian story book in their child’s gift.

“I can’t tell you in words how much my kids are happy. I can only say from my heart, you didn’t send gifts, you sent happiness and smiles.”
– A Dad in prison

How can I get involved?

The Angel Tree programme in each prison is led by a volunteer Angel Tree Coordinator, who leads a small team of volunteers to deliver the programme. If you’d like to be involved, you need to start by applying to be a PF volunteer, mentioning your interest in this programme. The programme runs from August until January each year.
Is your church or community group looking for a meaningful way to give back at Christmas, while reaching out to some of the most stigmatised and forgotten families in our society? Partnering with Angel Tree is one fantastic way to do that! You could commit to fundraising for a particular number of gifts, or in some cases you can even take on responsibility for purchasing those gifts based on the criteria we give you. To discuss this further, get in touch with the Support Team.
Each Angel Tree gift for a child costs £20 including postage. When you give, you can know that you are putting smiles on the faces of a child and their parent this Christmas, and easing the pain of their separation. If you are a parent yourself, perhaps you can talk about Angel Tree with your child and encourage them - and even their friends and school - to raise money for a present for a child like them?

“I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am very close to my little girl. It has been very hard on us being parted and Angel Tree has made it a bit easier.”
– A mum in prison

Angel Tree Teddy
“Good night, Daddy. I love you.” — Jessica, an Angel Tree recipient

Jessica's story

Jessica spoke to the Christmas card written by her father that was stuck to the wall by her bed. The card had arrived at Christmas, together with a teddy bear that the two year-old named Barnaby. They were both precious to her, particularly as Daddy had not been home for a while.

Read Jessica's story

Why do we do it?

There are around 200,000 children in England and Wales with a parent in prison. That means, more than double the number of children are affected by parental imprisonment than divorce in the family. 7% of all children (around 1 in 15) will experience their father’s imprisonment before they leave school.

Angel Tree is a very simple and incredibly rewarding way to help prisoners stay in contact with their families during imprisonment, which can contribute to reducing re-offending rates. Those prisoners being visited by a partner or family member have a 52% re-offending rate as compared to 70% for those who do not.*

[* Ministry of Justice (2008), Factors linked to reoffending, London: Ministry of Justice]

— Donate to Angel Tree

It costs just £20 to enable a parent in prison to send their child a Christmas present.