It is an immense pleasure to get to look back over the previous financial year every summer, and celebrate the incredible work that has been done across England and Wales by our committed and hardworking volunteers, and through God’s grace and strength!
The news remains full of stories about the challenges facing prisons, and indeed in our own work we face these same challenges every day — issues of violence and poor mental health; challenges in staffing and access; people who are so poor in resources, support, and self-belief, that they appear back in prison over and over.
We are mindful of the challenges. And so all the more reason to celebrate the gains we see being made. Every numbers represents a life impacted — every Sycamore Tree learner who has been given the chance to understand the impact of their crime and chose a different path; every parent in prison who was able to connect at Christmas with their child; every young offender who was given the chance to say “I love you” to their mum; every letter writer who commits month after month to journey alongside their pen-pal in prison, offering a sympathetic ear to men and women who may have no one else to be real with.
Psalm 107 says, “Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love, and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”
We see God working his wonderful deeds through each PF volunteer who gives their time and energy, and through every supporter who believes in our vision and resources the work.
The people we meet in prison are hungry for many things — for acceptance, for love, for forgiveness, for purpose. When we read the numbers from the past year, we see God filling the hungry with good things. Thank you for being part of his mission of love to men and women in prison.
Peter Holloway, CEO