Cash for prison project

Leeds Prison (Armley jail)
Leeds Prison (Armley jail)
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A project helping prisoners’ children can continue for a further three years thanks to new funding.

HMP (Her Majesty’s Prison) Leeds Visitors Centre has been awarded £59,595 by BBC Children in Need in the charity’s first funding round of 2017.

The centre at the prison, also known as Armley jail, will use the money, delivered over three years, to run a project that enables children with a dad in prison to have supervised play during visiting times in a safe and supportive environment.

The project enables the children to spend quality time with their dads, with opportunities to bond and build a relationship, as well as enjoying structured and independent play with games and toys.

Lee Stephenson, project director at HMP Leeds Visitors Centre, said: “We’ve been supported by BBC Children in Need to run this project now for several years, and in this time we’ve seen what a positive difference supervised play sessions can make to the lives and development of children with a parent in prison.

“The funding has enabled us to provide hundreds of children with the support they need to help them cope with the extreme hardships of having a parent in prison. The project enables the children to visit in an environment where they can play and bond with their parent.”

Across Leeds, BBC Children in Need funds 27 projects to the value of £1.68 million.

Isabel Farnell, BBC Children in Need regional head of the North, said: “We are delighted to be supporting organisations such as HMP Leeds Visitors Centre. Over the coming months, the project will work with children and young people in Leeds that need it most and a make a tangible difference to their lives.”

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