The Croft Visitors’ Support and Advice Centre delivers support for families and visitors at HMP Barlinnie in Glasgow. Known locally as ‘the big hoose’, the charity offers support to over 15,000 visitors each year. The Croft visitor centre is open seven days a week, staffed by a small team that help with emotional and practical support and also advocacy and interactions between families and the Prison Service. There are activities, books and activity packs for children waiting to visit their family member, helping the make the visit easier and less stressful for all concerned.
The application to Allen Lane was for funding towards an additional support worker post. In June 2022 Trustees agreed a grant totalling £10,000 towards this part-time post which will help to support over 1,500 visitors a year. The role will also be responsible for undertaking outreach work in the local community, creating peer support and befriending groups and liaising with local organisations to increase the variety of support available for families. Outcomes of the work overall are that families have better experiences of visiting family members in prison and family ties are maintained, and ultimately that prisoners are less likely to reoffend on release as they have continued support from their families.