Covid continues, but so will Families Outside
Since the 23 March, when the UK and Scottish Governments made announcements that brought the whole of the UK into lockdown, we have continued to support families affected by imprisonment, with demand for our service increasing by 247% over the Summer.
It’s now over 10 months since the first official lockdown, and since then, individuals, families, and communities have faced unprecedented hardships: social isolation, economic uncertainty, mental and physical illness, and the loss of loved ones.
The pandemic has affected all aspects of life, but perhaps the people hardest hit have been the UK’s vulnerable children and families.
Families with a loved one in prison have faced a particularly challenging 10 months, juggling all of these hardships with heightened concerns for their family member in prison and severe restrictions on contact with them. Physical visits were cancelled, Home Leave was cancelled, family contact was challenging, and concerns for people in prison increased, as did families’ anxiety, which in turn increased their mental ill health.
Despite current restrictions our services are available to support families grappling with these issues. Support and information for families regarding the how prisons are managing COVID 19 and current arrangements for maintaining family contact and support for prisoners’ wellbeing is available on our website www.familiesoutside.org.uk and through our Helpline 0800 254 0088 which is open as usual.
We have produced a useful infographic to highlight how we have managed to maintain, and in some cases increase, support to families affected by imprisonment, linking these activities to our values: Responsive, Accessible, Independent, and Knowledgeable.