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Funding for Islington charity to support mental health of female prisoners

Choices Islington, a charity that offers counselling to women facing an unplanned pregnancy has received funding
to support its work with offenders and ex-offenders.

The grant of almost £50,000 was awarded by the City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust, and it will help Choices Islington deliver services to female prisoners at HMP Holloway. The charity is supporting vulnerable women coping with the loss of their baby, as well as separation from their children as a result of a prison sentence or enforced adoption.

The key aims of the charity are to empower local women by offering independent support that enables those facing an unplanned pregnancy to make their own informed choices or for those with pregnancy/child loss concerns a safe place to talk things through. Secondly the charity aims to promote self-esteem and positive values through a relationships and sexual health education project for local young people.

Its work with prisoners and ex-prisoners is focused on emotional support and counselling- helping them to take control of their lives. This area of work was established to meet significant demand from the prison system which reported that separation from children and pregnancy and child loss concerns were among the key issues affecting the mental health of female prisoners.

The grant will fund counselling sessions to help inmates cope with loss and bereavement, as well as guidance on how to develop and maintain healthy relationships.

Celia Wyatt, Executive Director of Choices Islington, said: “We are delighted to receive this generous grant from the City Bridge Trust. Pregnancy and child loss are abiding themes in the lives of women offenders, directly contributing to poor mental health and self-esteem. This grant puts our counselling project at HMP Holloway on a much firmer footing, enabling us to reduce waiting times and reach more women with restorative counselling.”

Jeremy Mayhew, Chairman of City Bridge Trust, said: “At City Bridge Trust, we are committed to tackling inequality and disadvantage in all of London’s communities. Mental health among prison inmates and ex-prisoners, especially women, is a significant issue and can adversely affect rehabilitation. Choices Islington delivers a valuable service to vulnerable members of society, and our grant will help it cope with the increasing demand.”

For more information visit

Notes to editors:

Media enquiries-Rachel Mortell, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

T 020 332 1528

T 0207 332 3451


About the City of London CorporationThe City of London Corporation, headed by the Lord Mayor, provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles: (1) To support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, research-driven policies all reflecting a long-term approach. See for more details. (2) to support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust aims to address disadvantage across Greater London through quality grant-making and related activities. It makes grants of more than £15 million annually to charitable projects in London. The Corporation also supports education with three independent schools, three City Academies, a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama. (3) To look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London. And – with its heart in London’s Square Mile - we also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, research-driven policies and a long-term approach. See for much more on our uniquely diverse role, including the City of London Police, etc.