Irish Prison Service and Katharine Howard Foundation Collaborate to Host “Kids Camp” Event at Shelton Abbey Open Centre
Today, the Irish Prison Service and the Katharine Howard Foundation are delighted to announce their collaboration in hosting an unprecedented event, “Kids Camp,” at Shelton Abbey Open Centre on October 31st and November 1st 2023.
The “Kids Camp” event is a unique initiative aimed at strengthening family connections and providing a memorable experience for children with a parent in custody. This ground-breaking event is set to create a supportive and engaging environment where families can spend quality time together.
Speaking at the event the Irish Prison Service, Director General, Caron McCaffrey said, “I am delighted to see the collaboration between our organisation and the Katharine Howard Foundation in hosting the ‘Kids Camp’ event at Shelton Abbey. This initiative underlines the vital importance of family contact for those in custody. We firmly believe that maintaining strong family bonds is crucial for the well-being and rehabilitation of individuals within our care. By providing a supportive environment where families can spend quality time together, we aim to create lasting memories and foster hope for a brighter future. This event represents our commitment to prioritising the needs of children with parents in custody and highlights the positive impact that family connections can have on their lives.
During the two-day event, children and their parents will have the opportunity to participate in a range of carefully designed activities and programs that promote positive interactions and create lasting memories. The Katharine Howard Foundation has generously arranged accommodation for the children and their mothers in a local hotel, conveniently located near Shelton Abbey Open Centre.
The event will feature a series of engaging activities hosted at Shelton Abbey, fostering personal growth, strengthening family bonds, and developing a sense of community. Furthermore, the esteemed staff of Arklow Library will actively participate in this innovative initiative, lending their expertise and support to ensure an enriching experience for all involved.
Chief Executive Officer of the Katharine Howard Foundation, Dr. Cliona Hannon said, “Katharine Howard spent her childhood in Shelton Abbey, when it was the home of the Howard family. Katharine committed her life to supporting small community organisations, many of which focused on those most in need of support. This innovative family-focused programme to help children of parents in custody, to strengthen and maintain their family bonds, and to have some Hallowe’en fun, is exactly the kind of project Katharine Howard would have loved. We wish it every success and thank the great team in Shelton for devising this programme.”
Through the “Kids Camp” event, the Irish Prison Service and the Katharine Howard Foundation aim to provide an opportunity for families to reconnect, build cherished memories, and foster a sense of hope for the future. By prioritising the well-being of children with incarcerated parents, this collaboration seeks to create a positive impact on their lives and contribute to their overall development and resilience.
L-R – John O’Callaghan, Deputy Secretary General, Department of Justice, CEO, Katharine Howard Foundation, Dr. Cliona Hannon, Director General, Irish Prison Service, Caron McCaffrey, Governor of Shelton Abbey, Joseph Donoghue