Project information

Time to Connect

Time to Connect is a prison based parenting education programme. It is designed to help strengthen relationships between prisoners and their children and to sow the seeds for a stronger family life post release. It achieves this through the everyday resource of play.

Each course consists of 4 workshops

Charity information

Pact (Prison Advice and Care Trust)

Pact (Prison Advice and Care Trust) logo
  • Need


    Each year around 200,000 children in the UK are affected by parental imprisonment. Children who experience this “hidden sentence” are likely to face disruption to education, housing, home life and friendship groups and the stigma and stress of having a family member in prison. About 65% of boys with a convicted parent will go on themselves to offend. 65% of women and 59% of men in prison have dependent children.


    Maintaining positive family ties can help to reduce re-offending by offenders after release. Prisoners who do not receive visits from family members are nearly 40% more likely to re-offend afterwards. With support, imprisonment can provide a unique opportunity for prisoners to re-think their roles and responsibilities, and look afresh at what it means to be a parent. So children of prisoners are then given the chance to have a positive experience of belonging and being loved.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To support children who have an imprisoned parent


    » Provide family time and activities within prison to enable children of prisoners to have a more positive experience of parental attachment

    Providing family visits for prisoners' children to enable them to spend quality time with their imprisoned parent

    Aim 2

    To strengthen family bonds between prisoners and their children


    » Run parenting workshops for mothers and fathers who are imprisoned

    We aim to support a minimum of 96 families per year through their participation in our parenting courses and family centered prison visits.

  • Impact


    Research shows that by keeping families together while a parent is in prison helps to reduce re-offending after release by around 40%. It also helps to reduce inter-generational offending . Our successes will be demonstrated by feedback from course participants and their children and families. Feedback from previous course participants, family members and prison staff;
    "It allowed me to get down to my son's level to play, bond and have fun in a relaxed environment" (Prisoner)


    Risk 1: Security clearance. Standard prison clearance is not enough to provide this course within a prison setting so securing clearance in a timely manner will stop there being a delay.
    Risk 2: Workshop space. Making sure there is a suitable space inside the prison to run the courses with the necessary prison staff support.


    Donors to this project will have the opportunity to sign up to receive Pact's FreshStart newsletter which provides an update on recent projects including 'Time to Connect'.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £18,992

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      Amount Heading Description
      £10,944 Course Trainer To facilitate the running of the courses
      £1,600 Books and Materials For the family play sessions
      £1,544 Course Evaluation/Admin To evaluate the success
      £1,256 Travel Expenses For Trainer and Volunteers
      £1,024 Telephony, stationery&sundries To assist in planning
      £2,624 Support costs To manage the project
  • Background


    Time to Connect courses have already been held in HMP/YOI Isis and HMP Wormwood Scrubs in London and HMP Eastwood Park near Bristol. Through this Big Give campaign, we aspire to run a further 8 courses in 4 more prisons within England and Wales.


    Prisoners and their children and families.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    With over 100 years experience of giving practical and emotional advice to those affected by the imprisonment of a loved one, we are well equipped to manage and co-ordinate the courses in prison. In 2011 we were awarded the Skills for Justice Quality Mark for our Kids VIP practitioner training programme. Our Kids VIP activities have worked in over 100 prisons in England and Wales on children's activities.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jo Mandell

    Manager of Time to Connect