Our Huntercombe Project offers befriending services to all inmates at HMP Huntercombe, regardless of their background or immigration status.
HMP Huntercombe is a category C male prison exclusively for foreign nationals. Huntercombe is often the last stop within the criminal justice system for a foreign national prisoner before ‘automatic deportation’. Hence, prisoners face unique challenges. They are often anxious about their unclear future once their sentence ends, i.e. whether they are going to be allowed to stay in the United Kingdom or are going to be deported. Deportation is sometimes to places where they have suffered persecution or to places almost unknown to them, some having left ‘home’ as children and never returned.
As foreign nationals, they struggle with language barriers as many do not speak English at all. Our volunteers and staff provide emotional and practical support to prisoners in their native language, liaising with the prison, lawyers, external agencies and on occasion with inmates’ families. This support in their own language is often of great comfort as they can really feel understood.
Our staff and volunteers have extensive experience in supporting immigration detainees. For 25 years until its closure in December 2018, Asylum Welcome visited and supported detainees held at Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre in Kidlington. Our work at HMP Huntercombe draws on this long experience with immigration detainees and our language base.
Who is this for?
Every inmate at HMP Huntercombe who needs our support.
“I’m released now and would like to thank [the volunteer who supported me]…. and let her know that I’m fine. She was very supportive to me during custodial time.” Quote from an ex-inmate at HMP Huntercombe
What can we offer?
- Our services are aimed at supporting inmates through our social visits.
- We refer and liaise with solicitors and other external organisations in areas of need.
- We also promote inmates’ welfare by, for instance, liaising with HMP Huntercombe staff about inmates’ mental health issues.
If you would like to get in touch about the project, please write to Rhiannon Lovell, Huntercombe Project Coordinator, at email@example.com or call / whatsapp her on 07742 249539