Charity gets £50k to help pregnant HMP Holloway inmates

Celia Wyatt, chief executive of Choices Islington

Celia Wyatt, chief executive of Choices Islington - Credit: Archant

A charity that helps female convicts cope with pregnancy and separation from their baby has been given £50,000

Choices Islington, in Caledonian Road, will use the cash from the London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust to run counselling sessions for inmates at HMP Holloway.

The Islington charity’s main focus is helping women facing unplanned pregnancy but it also supports those coping with the loss of a baby, as well as separation from their children as a result of a prison sentence or enforced adoption.

Its other work includes promoting self-esteem and positive values through a relationships and sexual health education project for young people.

The latest grant, from the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust, will fund counselling sessions to help inmates cope with loss and bereavement, as well as guidance on how to develop and maintain healthy relationships.

Celia Wyatt, executive director of Choices Islington, said: “We are delighted to receive this generous grant from the City Bridge Trust.

“Pregnancy and child loss are abiding themes in the lives of women offenders, directly contributing to poor mental health and self-esteem.

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“This grant puts our counselling project at HMP Holloway on a much firmer footing, enabling us to reduce waiting times and reach more women with restorative counselling.”

Jeremy Mayhew, chairman of City Bridge Trust, said: “At City Bridge Trust, we are committed to tackling inequality and disadvantage in all of London’s communities.

“Mental health among prison inmates and ex-prisoners, especially women, is a significant issue and can adversely affect rehabilitation.

“Choices Islington delivers a valuable service to vulnerable members of society, and our grant will help it cope with the increasing demand.”