Angel Tree supports prisoners in their family relationships by providing a way for them to give Christmas presents to their children. Local Prison Fellowship volunteers raise funds and work with churches and prison chaplains to buy and deliver the presents. As long as they are allowed access to their children, prisoners are given the opportunity to apply for a gift to be sent to them. Each gift is sent as though it is from the parent in prison and is accompanied by a personal message written by the parent for their child.
Our volunteers then coordinate the fundraising, purchasing of gifts, wrapping and delivery. If the parent wishes, a Christian story book is also sent.
We have also launched an Angel Tree Mother’s Day programme, where our volunteers enable Young Offenders to send their Mum a card and gift on Mother’s Day. Last year we sent 643 gifts to mothers of young offenders, and we would love to offer this to more young people in the future.
We also run Angel Tree through the year at prison ‘Family Days’. This allows parents to give a gift to their child as part of a day spent with them, and is always really appreciated.
Why do we do it?
There are around 200,000 children in England and Wales with a parent in prison. 7% (around 1 in 15) children will experience their father’s imprisonment before they leave school.
Angel Tree is a very simple and incredibly rewarding way to help prisoners keep contact with their families, which has been shown to reduce re-offending.
Family contact during imprisonment can drastically reduce re-offending rates. Those prisoners being visited by a partner or family member have a 52% re-offending rate as compared to 70% for those who do not.
How can I get involved?
You can volunteer to be part of our Angel Tree team. We currently need 20 Angel Tree Coordinators across England and Wales. This involves organising Angel Tree for a particular prison and talking to the chaplain, other volunteers and local churches. Find out more about this role.
We also need volunteers to help raise money, buy and wrap presents at Christmas. Contact the office to find out more.
Angel Tree is currently running in over 80 prisons across England and Wales. Find out if your local prison runs Angel Tree.
You can also donate to the Angel Tree programme.
What people are saying about Angel Tree
“Angel Tree has reinforced my faith in humanity, which had been lost long ago.” A Prisoner
“I am sending you this card to say a big thank you for sending my four children a Christmas present on my behalf. They all loved their presents and it made their Christmas. Thank you…” Wife of a prisoner
“Today is Mothering Sunday and this morning I opened a lovely card from my 16 year old son who is unfortunately serving 6 months in prison. Enclosed in the card was a gift voucher. After some investigative work I discovered that the prison fellowship had funded and enabled this card and gift to be sent to me and I would like to say how grateful and pleased I am. This is a very difficult time for us and receiving this card was just so lovely. Thank you so much.” Cara, a mother
 Ministry of Justice (2008), Factors linked to reoffending, London: Ministry of Justice