There are six active mother and baby units in prisons in the UK, for female prisoners with very young babies. We think it is important for these women to have access to books they can read to their babies at this critical stage of their lives, in challenging circumstances.
We are currently supplying books to all six of these mother and baby units, at HMP Bronzefield, Eastwood Park, Styal, New Hall, Askham Grange, and Peterborough. David Kendall, our prison consultant, has written an excellent blog about mother and baby units, and how the project is going so far.
We have received wonderful support from publishers Child’s Play for this project, whose books are perfect for children of all reading abilities.
“Child’s Play is honoured to work with Give a Book to provide books to Mother and Baby Units in womens’ prisons. Reading together is the perfect way for children to bond with a parent, and a crucial experience if that relationship is under stress. Sharing a book is relaxing and informative, and to imaginatively inhabit other worlds together is a welcome relief for both parent and child, stimulating conversation and emotional development. The books which the charity selects from our range are suitable for various reading levels, so even people who are not confident readers can benefit from the project. It’s vital that prisoners are provided with opportunities to connect with their children. Child’s Play is delighted to be able to help Give a Book address this need, which is often overlooked by the public.”
Feedback from HMP Eastwood Park
“As a Mother & Baby unit including the nursery, we feel that reading is very important especially in the technical age we live in. You provide us with a range of books to be able to do this. We would just like to say thank you very much as always we are very grateful for the kind gift.”
Feedback from HMP and YOI Bronzefield
“I must admit I am now feeling rather embarrassed, if not a little cross
with myself, at not having got to you before you phoned us to say a HUGE
thank you for the books which the children absolutely LOVE!
This was a most generous donation and EVERY child deserves to be
introduced to the look and feel of a book at the earliest possible age;
never too young (or too old) for a book! My own children (many years
ago) had their first books at 3 months and they have passed them down to
their children, much worn but much loved. Very special moments
introducing their first book. Wonderful!”