“It enlightened me about hidden treasures” – those are the words of a man who took part on a course run by Bringing Hope whilst inside HMP Birmingham, one of the UK’s largest prisons.
Bringing hope to those involved in serious violence and crime; those who are categorised as ‘hard-to-reach’, ‘problematic’ and ‘marginalised’; those whom many believe are beyond hope, are motivators for the Bringing Hope team.
The charity believes everyone deserves a second chance. The man who went on the Bringing Hope course said: “It enlightened me about hidden treasures, of certain things I probably knew but I haven’t really put them to use. I’ve never really looked into certain things before coming on the course, I looked into certain things but I’ve never really seen it in this mind-set and how I see it now.”
The Bringing Hope team that goes into the prison is Revd Dr Carver Anderson and Revd Robin Thompson.
Another man who took the course said: “When I sat and spoke with them and as soon as they started speaking and I started listening to them. You could tell that what they were saying was from the heart and they were passionate about what they were trying to do and the good they were trying to bring into Birmingham. That was my first memory … I thought you are the kind of guys I could work with.”
Another prisoner said: “It feels like a cleanliness, a holiness especially when I shake Carver’s hand. I feel like he is getting it straight from the source and he’s telling me, so I’m intrigued and listening to every word he says.”
“Bringing Hope showed pride in my son,” says one mother. “Despite his crimes they see him for who he really is, they see what I see as his mum. This gave me hope.”
The Bringing Hope team believes faith, hope, love, and action are tools to be used in supporting those needing a second chance.
A poem written by the Bringing Hope team
Beyond the feeling into actionWe walk our talkWe take ownershipTotally inWe walk our talkDrawing togetherTotally inSeeking to understand others and an openness to learnWe take ownershipPausing by still watersSeeking to understand others and an openness to learnDrawing togetherPausing by still watersBeyond the feeling into action