Campaign Results So Far
A big Thank You from PAS! Through your generosity, we have raised £19,494 so far for our project giving free legal advice to women prisoners and disabled prisoners on their rights. We hope you enjoy reading this report on the past few months of the project.
Over the past few months, your donations have enabled us to deliver 23 legal advice clinics in 6 women’s prisons: HMP Send (in Surrey), HMP Holloway (in London), HMP New Hall (in West Yorkshire), HMP Eastwood Park (in Gloucestershire) and our recently added delivery sites: HMP Bronzefield (in Surrey) and HMP Styal (in Cheshire). We have helped 203 women prisoners in the past few months through the clinics alone, and hundreds more through telephone calls, letters and casework.
One of our Caseworkers has written an article which will be published in a women prisoners’ magazine (upcoming edition). This article explains how PAS can assist women prisoners to obtain supported accommodation on release, particularly women who have physical or mental disabilities or a debilitating illness.
Success story: securing release on parole for a disabled woman
A disabled female prisoner’s release on parole had been delayed twice for over a year because no suitable supported accommodation had been identified. We acted for her in her recent parole case. We sent a pre-action letter to the Local Authority threatening judicial review regarding the accommodation and then liaised / negotiated with the Local Authority / National Health Service teams. They then offered her a place in a therapeutic care home with 24-hour support for the first 18 months, before potentially moving on to more independent living. The parole board deemed this accommodation was suitable to meet her complex needs and directed her release.
During this reporting period, your donations have supported our Community Care Caseworker to deliver several advice clinics within 4 prisons: HMP Pentonville, HMP Thameside, HMP Wandsworth (all in London), and HMP Leyhill (in Gloucestershire), giving advice to prisoners in person. Having recently started running clinics at Leyhill prison, we have been able to reach the sizeable group of prisoners there who are elderly and are experiencing age-related healthcare complications. You have also supported our Caseworker to deal with hundreds of telephone and letter enquiries, and to work on a number of ongoing cases advising disabled prisoners.
PAS's work was mentioned in an article in The Guardian newspaper in January 2016, entitled “How one prisoner’s letter led to a jail reading scheme” for helping a client to obtain release on parole. The article can be read here. This client was an infirm, elderly prisoner suffering from a heart condition, reduced mobility and significant cognitive decline.
Other PAS news
Lecture by John Samuels
In November 2015, our newest Patron, His Honour John Samuels QC, delivered the annual PAS Lecture in the offices of CMS Cameron McKenna. His thought-provoking speech was entitled “Rehabilitation: Starry-Eyed Idealism, or a Realistic Aspiration?” and was attended by 90 guests. The lecture was preceded by a moving testimony from Kevin Pilgrim, an ex-prisoner and a PAS volunteer.
PAS pub quiz
Thank you to everyone who came to the PAS pub quiz in November 2015 during National Pro Bono Week. We hope you enjoyed the evening. We are pleased to report that we raised over £400 in donations through the event, all of which will support our legal advice work with prisoners in advocating for their rights. We would like to congratulate all who attended, especially the prize-winning teams. It was great to have teams present from Doughty Street Chambers, Field Fisher, Herbert Smith Freehills, Kings College London, Leigh Day, Mayer Brown, and The Legal Services Board, as well as teams of PAS staff and volunteers.
Great Legal Bake
We participated in the “Great Legal Bake” in February 2016. Our staff and volunteers baked many cakes and sold them to local solicitors firms and barristers chambers. We raised £729 through this initiative – which was the highest amount raised among the 180 organisations participating nationwide! All of the proceeds will support our work.
Top 20% ranking for PAS
We are pleased to announce that PAS has been ranked in the top 20% of charities listed on the Global Giving platform in 2015. Thank you for helping us to receive this award.
Thank you again for your important support which is making it possible for us to provide free legal advice to women prisoners and disabled prisoners on their rights. We will continue to update you on our progress on this project in the months to come.
50% Matched Funding Opportunity! (7th March to 14th March)
Starting at 2pm on Monday 7th March and continuing until Monday 14th March (or when the funds run out), our fundraising campaign on Global Giving will receive 50% matched funding on any new donations (of up to £500 in value)! This means that a donation of £10 will receive an additional £5 in matched funding (plus a subsequent £2.50 coming from Gift Aid if applicable). So any donation of up to £500 to us during that week plus Gift Aid will in fact be nearly doubled! So, if you are inspired by this report above on our recent activities, please take advantage of this fantastic 50% matched funding opportunity to support our work further. Thank you.
Many thanks for your help,