During the Covid-19 related lockdown we have continued to provide services in order to maintain contact and communication wherever possible.
We have continued to offer support to our regular caseloads where applicable and to ensure contact where possible with their families/children.
Phoenix Futures have supported Purple visits which is a national initiative set up to provide the residents with the opportunity to hold video chats with their families and loved ones in place of the visits.
It is anticipated that Visits will be restarted in the near future albeit with reduced numbers due to social distancing.
At HMP Risley our Family service work alongside the prison to support the needs of both the men and their families whilst they are in custody.
The team ensure that up to date information is provided to all families regarding the visits processes and the procedures in place at Risley, supporting families through their first and regular visits to ensure they are comfortable with the processes.
The families are offered one to one support along with invites to the Family Forums which are held bi-monthly to offer families the opportunities to speak with staff from throughout the establishment and ask questions and raise their concerns.
Once in the visits hall Phoenix Futures provide a play area provision, to enable the children to play and enjoy the visits experience, staff provide seasonal activities to encourage the children to work with their loved ones and encourage relationships and positive conversations.
Phoenix Futures run nine Family days a year, in which those men who have applied and their families enjoy a smaller visit with more freedom to move around and interact with their loved ones. Specific activities are designed for the children to enjoy and a family photo is offered to all that attend.
For the men and families requiring additional support the team are able to contact Phoenix Futures to explore additional support avenues, the staff have been able to support with arranging families’ attendance to reviews and planning private social services and final contact visits.
During the COVID 19 pandemic the visits have been cancelled in line with the government protocols, to continue supporting the families Phoenix Future have continued to support the families receiving up to date information regarding the prison via email and phone.
Within the next few weeks the prison are looking to start the recording of family messages filmed by the men, Phoenix Futures are supporting in the delivery of the programme to ensure effective communication is available for the families attending Risley.
The Phoenix Futures team at HMP Risley have developed positive relationships with the families and regularly receive high praise for their support during difficult times, they continue to be compassionate to each situation and support where possible.