Stirling Interfaith Community Justice Group is a Charity established by representatives of the churches and other faith communities in the Stirling area.
The Family Help Hub HMP/YOI Cornton Vale is built on a strategic community partnership between the Charity, The Scottish Prison Service and Fife and Forth Valley Community Justice Authority, in response to the needs of female offenders and the families of offenders across Scotland. The aim of the Family Help Hub is to provide a supportive, friendly and welcoming environment for families visiting a woman in custody. Support is provided by staff and trained volunteers to ensure experiences of prison visiting are less stressful and more positive thereby encouraging more frequent visits and maintaining family ties in order to reduce re-offending, increase the stability of children's lives and achieve positive long-term outcomes for all of the family.
In April 2017, we opened our Visitors Centre at HMP Glenochil, with the same vision of our Family Help Hub at Cornton Vale. Creating a safe and welcoming space for those visiting the prison.
Meet the team
Sharon started off her career in education and worked as a nursery nurse for Falkirk council . In 2001 she moved down south and began her career within the criminal justice system where she worked as family support worker at HMP Ashwell. Sharon also worked for women's aid as a refugee worker. During this period Sharon developed and set up an outreach service for women and children affected by domestic abuse. Sharon returned to Education and qualified as a mental Health Nurse. In 2011 Sharon was part of the Invisible Walls team who developed family services based at Winchester, Kingston, IOW and the London prisons. While in England Sharon also worked within Substance misuse and forensic units.
Sharon returned to Scotland in 2013 and took up post of the visitor centre manager for Cornton Vale. Due to the team's success at Cornton Vale the centre took on another visitor centre development at Glenochil.
I’ve worked as the Charity’s Administrator for 6 years now. I work between both the Family Hub at Cornton Vale and the Visitor Centre at Glenochil. I’m involved in the day to day running of both Centres.
I love working with the Charity and although I’m usually in the background working in the office, I like to get involved with the families and enjoy seeing everyone at visiting time. During my time with the Charity I’ve taken part in various training sessions including training in CAMHS, GIRFEC, first aid and I’m also a mental health first aider.
I have worked at Cornton Vale Visitor Centre since it opened in 2013 as a Family Centre Worker.
Before then I trained as a Early Years worker and was a respite carer. In my current role, I help provide a welcome and support to children and their families before and after a prison visit. I am involved in organising a range of activities for Family prison visits and events where children and families have opportunities to join in.
A quick introduction to me... I have been working with SICJG since July 2019 and was a volunteer for a couple of years before that. I spend most of my working time at the visitor centre at HMP Glenochil with the occasional visit to Cornton Vale. My time at Glenochil is usually spent supporting visitors and getting involved with children's visits, as well as facilitating the Families Together course and support group.
I have just finished a Psychology degree and also work for an estate agents in Stirling. Hopefully I will soon be studying for a Masters in Forensic Psychology.
I have been part of the team for almost 7 years. I originally started as a volunteer while I was studying for my undergraduate degree and became a member of staff when we opened the centre at Glenochil. I have recently completed my masters in Psychology.
I am usually based at Glenochil and involved in the day to day running of the centre, and I can usually be found at visit time. I work closely with the visits team supporting children’s visits and helping to plan the activities and events. I have also been able to help facilitate and design our Families Together course which we run with the dads.