Young Friends support Ashton prisoners with gifts for children

Kirsty Philbrick writes to Young Friends:

Just a note to say a massive thank you to everyone who contributed a gift for a father at Ashfield prison to present to their child at the family Christmas.

Russell – the Quaker Prison Chaplain who was ‘Santa’ on the day said, ‘ The quality of the gifts and the thought you must have put into choosing them was quite overwhelming and I felt very privileged to hand them out to the children. Every present was received with great excitement and joy.’

Anja, the Anglican Chaplain who organised the day said, “Without the amazing generosity of the Quakers who provide Father Christmas’ presents for the children, the gatherings would be only half as sparkly and memorable! So thank you. This has also been said by various prisoners, who say that this day has probably been the best so far, in that it flowed and was relaxed and a very happy occasion”

So thank you all – your kind considered presents and holding the families in your thoughts before Christmas, was all much appreciated.

See below for the full email from the Quaker Prison Chaplain.

In Friendship,
Kirsty


Subject: Fwd: Thank you from Santa.

Dear Friends,

Santa has been very naughty this year for not writing to you earlier to ask you to send my thanks to everyone that contributed in any way for all the wonderful gifts that were donated for the children attending the Family Day at Ashfield over the Festive Season.

Anja, the Anglican Chaplain responsible for organising the Family Day wrote the following to me:-

“Without the amazing generosity of the Quakers who provide Father Christmas’ presents for the children, the gatherings would be only half as sparkly and memorable! So thank you. This has also been said by various prisoners, who say that this day has probably been the best so far, in that it flowed and was relaxed and a very happy occasion – with a request to pass this on to you.”

The quality of the gifts and the thought you must have put into choosing them was quite overwhelming and I felt very privileged to hand them out to the children. Every present was received with great excitement and joy.

After four years of organising the gifts, with a great deal of help and support from Liz, we have both decided to take a break next Christmas.

So Santa’s signing off with wonderful memories and with gratitude for the generosity of you all.

A very happy, peaceful and joyous 2020.

Russell.

You can follow HMP Ashfield on Twitter. A recent review by independent monitors suggests the prison, in Pucklechurch, is well and humanely run.

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