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 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 a family support worker at HMP Ashwell. Sharon also worked for women's aid as a refugee worker. During this time 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 as the visitor centre manager for Cornton Vale. Due to the team's success they expanded and took on a second visitor centre 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 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 and I have loved my time working closely with our visitors and families!
Hello, my name is Lauren and I am in my final year at University studying Criminology and Sociology. I started volunteering at the Family Centre back in 2019 which I loved doing and took a keen interest in the fantastic work that the center did. I was delighted to join the team as a member of staff and I am thoroughly enjoying the role so far.
I am looking forward to welcoming back some familiar faces at the hub and meeting new ones, armed with cups of tea and biscuits!