Kate* was really struggling, “I haven’t seen my children in 5 months. My sister doesn’t have a car and is unable to bring them in to visit me. I miss them so much”. I acknowledged how hard that must be and informed her Prison Network is able to assist with transport with children to see their mothers in prison. “Really? Are you sure? Oh yes please! You would do that for me? Really?” I offered to talk with her sister and arrange the logistics that week.
Mother Theresa has a famous quote, “The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love..”
Did you know the UK has a Minister for loneliness? Have you ever considered that loneliness needs a government Minister? It can affect your health as much as 15 cigarettes per day and people experiencing loneliness are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with social connections. So it’s understandable that it is taken seriously as a public health concern. […]
No doubt we all have memories of the school yard bullies. Who could forget them? These bullies bestowed harmful physical and emotional treatment upon peers. And most of time, it included the cruellest names and labels. Names that stuck like mud. Names and labels that were often so much more than just words.
They pierced the very core of a tender and fragile formative child’s heart. And sometimes, they even shaped and fashioned one’s lifelong identity. […]
One of my last pre COVID celebrations was a Christmas party in the park with a group of women experiencing homelessness. By the end of the day I was sitting on a bench with Lee. I had known Lee for years. She was constantly in and out of prison and we were catching up, it had been a while.
There is an ancient Greek emotion called acedia. It’s that feeling of listlessness, indifference, fear and uncertainty. This was Lee. She had always been feisty and funny. But on this day she was deflated and empty. Years of imprisonment, and a string of male relatives with criminal records, had left her without hope and stained by association. In her words, “whether I’ve done something or not, everyone always thinks I’m guilty.” Why couldn’t Lee break this cycle? […]