The Covid-19 response grants fund has now drawn to a close, and we are thrilled to have awarded 58 grants to 55 organisations on behalf of the Ministry of Justice/Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (MoJ/HMPPS) to deliver important work supporting people in prison, through-the-gate, and in the community in the context of Covid-19.
Having received more than 200 applications, the majority of applications were unfortunately unsuccessful, and we wish we could have funded more. We received applications for practical through-the-gate and community support, helplines in custody, arts, drama, singing, creative writing, reading groups, horticulture groups, parenting and family support, therapeutic counselling, and many, many more. We had a mountain of proposals for work delivered in new, creative ways, adapting to the evolving situation, once again proving how diverse, creative, and responsive voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system are and how they really are never more needed.
Support during recovery
As well as ensuring that the funding reached every region of England and Wales, and addressed the needs of a wide range of service user groups, our panel had to make tough choices throughout the process to ensure that some funding remained available as restrictions started to ease and needs changed. We believe that the final portfolio of grants awarded reflects the diversity of activity going on across England and Wales and, more importantly, is providing vital everyday and long-term services to those in the criminal justice system most affected by Covid-19.
In the second phase of funding the panel focused on organisations who were looking ahead to recovery, making longer-term adaptations to support their ongoing work. We also made the decision, as part of our aspiration to become an anti-racist organisation in all we say and do, to give consideration in decision-making to whether an organisation is led by, or focussed on supporting, black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)-led individuals.
Although the grants programme has come to an end, we continue to provide support to voluntary organisations as they navigate the challenges of working alongside Covid-19. Our dedicated inbox - Covid19@clinks.org - is still available to you and active. We encourage members to report any Covid-19 specific challenges you are facing to us so we can continue to provide information and advice, as well as reporting issues back to HMPPS and MoJ. For up-to-date information on our work related to Covid-19, check out our dedicated webpage.
What's being delivered
Ark Resettlement Services
Awarded £4,900 to provide remote support for people in the criminal justice system preparing for release from prison in London, and practical support post-release.
Awarded £4,300 to run writing workshops, literature events, and a national writing competition for individuals in prison, on licence, or on community orders.
Belong: Making Justice Happen
Awarded £4,900 to consult and collaborate with BAME prisoners to understand and respond to the immediate and emerging needs of the population in the context of Covid-19.
Awarded £7,892 for remote delivery of the FreeMinds FreePeople Program violence reduction programme in HMP Onley, including in-cell workbooks and a WAYOut TV mini series.
Brighton Women's Centre
Awarded £5,575 to deliver specialist casework and additional remote support to women in the South East.
C2C Social Action
Awarded £4,900 for a community-based women’s centre in Kettering to respond to needs worsened by Covid-19, specifically: mental health; debt, finance, and benefits; and domestic abuse.
Clean Slate Solutions
Awarded £4,900 to offer support for individuals released from prison, coordinating referrals to relevant agencies and working with through-the-gate services in Teesside and Hambleton.
Community Led Initiatives
Awarded £6,890 for a community resettlement and mentoring service in Greater Manchester.
Drum and Brass
Awarded £6,547 for a national 'No Bars' in-custody poetry competition, including the publication of winning poems.
Hull FC Rugby Community Sports and Education Foundation
Awarded £3,924 for the Take the field physical activity and mental resilience programme in Hull.
Awarded £4,900 to deliver a structured programme offering support around mental health, employment, social isolation, substance abuse, and other activities as chosen by service users, for residents in three approved premises in the North West.
Inside Job Productions
Awarded £4,900 to co-produce a video and audio resource to amplify the voices of BAME prisoners at HMP Wandsworth, providing insights into the experiences of BAME prisoners in relation to Covid-19.
Awarded £3,100 to make adaptations/additions to allow continuation of on-site placements in a market garden, pottery workshop, and woodwork shop in the South West with people on ROTL or on licence.
Make Your Way
Awarded £4,392 to provide a social welfare programme to provide support for social and mental health needs, peer mentoring, furniture, and a foodbank in Newcastle.
Awarded £5,000 to provide community support for prison leavers in Bradford who are completing a domestic violence programme or other intervention.
Only a Pavement Away
Awarded £6,954 to continue working to place individuals into hospitality employment in the South East, including people on license or serving a community sentence.
Restore Support Network
Awarded £4,900 to deliver through-the-gate support in the South West for up to eight weeks, supporting individuals into specialised support and providing an emergency helpline.
Awarded £4,900 to deliver socially-distanced drama workshops at HMP Hewell that explore prisoners' experience of prison and maintaining relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Awarded £4,000 to make adaptations to in-custody parenting and relationships interventions, including paper-based and audio-visual materials that can be worked through remotely.
Awarded £4,900 to deliver a targeted group programme to female victims of domestic abuse who are working with prison or probation services in the South East.
Support When It Matters Enterprise
Awarded £5,736 to deliver an eight-week personal development programme with BAME individuals on licence or serving community orders in London.
The Conservation Foundation
Awarded £7,000 to introduce a sustainable fruit tree nursery and provide training in propagation, planting, and management at HMP Onley.
The Flowhesion Foundation
Awarded £4,900 to deliver a buddy service to approved premises in Blackburn, accompanying residents on key appointments and providing advocacy, guidance and support with related processes.
Awarded £4,800 to provide remote trauma-informed therapeutic interventions for women on licence or under community orders in Newham.
Awarded £5,000 to deliver practical in-custody drama workshops aiming to increase confidence/self-esteem, improve interpersonal skills, and offer a creative outlet for personal development at HMP/YOI Swinfell Hall, HMP/YOI Brinsford, and HMP/YOI Portland.
Awarded £4,900 to deliver an online and telephone mental health helpline for young people - prioritizing BAME young people - on licence or serving community orders in the North West.
Latest on Twitter
It is imperative that government prioritises and resources the tackling of race inequality in the criminal justice system. It is crucial that voluntary orgs led by and focussed on racially minoritised people are listened to, taken seriously and consulted in these conversations. https://twitter.com/HMIProbation/status/1451073306791223296