"Thank you for your brilliant support"

19 Dec 2018

By Cassie Edmiston, Head of Fundraising

Frogmore drawing (compressed)

A drawing of June's Frogmore House and Gardens event by PET alumna and artist Erika

In this blog, our Head of Fundraising Cassie Edmiston rounds up a terrific year of fundraising challenges and campaigns and makes clear just how important your support is.

Sometimes as I scroll through my Twitter feed or check the headlines each morning, it can be hard to stay positive. Fortunately once I’m in the PET office, I am inspired every day by our tenacious learners in prison, and you, our dedicated supporters. I want to thank you for your wonderful support during 2018. Your belief in men and women in prison across England and Wales makes a real and tangible difference to people who often have no other source of support. As Jennie, a prisoner in HMP Styal said recently “I spent the first 40 years of my life being told I can’t do anything and was stupid. That’s why receiving that letter from PET saying I’d been funded, it is difficult to express how amazing that was - that someone was believing in me.”

"Over 120 people donated to our recent Big Give Christmas Challenge, raising £30,000 to give educational opportunities to women in prison"

Whether you have generously given a donation, volunteered your time, or spread the word about the work we do, your support throughout 2018 has changed lives like Jennie’s. In June it was a pleasure to see friends old and new as we were invited to Frogmore House and Gardens in Windsor. That same month you also joined us as we heard from Californian and Scandinavian prison leaders at our international themed lecture. We have been impressed and inspired by your fundraising efforts, including Lewis’s Ruislip to Canterbury running challenge, Esther’s Mont Saint Michel Marathon and our amazing runners in the Royal Parks Half Marathon, as well as the hard work of our wonderful volunteers in the South London Group who have now raised over £80,000 for PET since their formation.

Most importantly we know how much your belief in our work means to the prisoners we support. Over 120 people donated to our recent Big Give Christmas Challenge, raising £30,000 to give educational opportunities to 70 women in prison. At our Carol Concert at the end of November, we were joined by women who have been in prison and those who work with them. To a packed audience, Glynis who works at HMP Styal read out a letter from a prison learner: “Courses like these are the only way we have to really progress and better ourselves. We can’t go further with education in the prison system. Being funded gives that little bit of hope. Getting that letter from someone who doesn’t know me, but who knows I’m in prison… that’s giving hope and inspiration.”

"We are proud of our PET community and the belief that our supporters have in our work and in people in prison"

These are challenging times for organisations working in criminal justice and PET is no exception. However as we look ahead to our 30th anniversary in 2019, we are proud of our PET community and the belief that you, our supporters, have in our work and in people in prison. Whether you came to an event or ran a marathon, or if you donated in celebration, in memory or simply because you care, your support means so much. From all of us at PET, thank you. We hope you have a peaceful Christmas and New Year.