Written by Sara Birch and Nikita Costello

As both a Caseworker at Prisoners Abroad and as a Lecturer at Brighton University, I was delighted to recently be invited by Jade Chalker (the Chair of the Brighton University Student Amnesty Group) to speak about the work of Prisoners Abroad to her, her fellow students and to staff at the university.

As a part-time lecturer at Brighton University I teach human rights law to undergraduates and am always very pleased when students demonstrate an interest in standing up for the human rights of others.

Following my talk, students are now planning a fundraising initiative at the end of February. They have yet to decide on a fundraising activity but they have invited me to join them and I am very much looking forward to doing so! Having worked for Prisoners Abroad for over five years, I know just how many people (including prisoners, family members and resettlement clients) benefit from our work.

Having visited British citizens detained in prisons overseas, sometimes in appalling conditions, I have seen first-hand how our support and funding can literally be a life-line to those struggling to survive in the harshest of conditions. I always remember one prisoner telling me that to him “Prisoners Abroad was the anchor that kept him grounded and the beacon of light that reached out to him in his darkest of times”.

I am proud that students at Brighton University are taking action to support the work of Prisoners Abroad.

by Sara Birch, Caseworker at Prisoners Abroad

Prisoners Abroad is a Human Rights and welfare charity that provides humanitarian aid, advice and emotional support to British People in prison overseas and those who have been affected by it. On the 10th December 2018, we invited BBS’s Public Law lecturer, Sara Birch, to host a talk in Mithras House about her phenomenal work for Amnesty International and Prisoners Abroad.

We knew Sara would be the best person for this role due to her long–lasting passion and dedication towards helping those who have wrongfully had their rights taken from them. Many of the students at Brighton Business School knew of her work with various different NGOs such as Amnesty International and Prisoners Abroad and discussed that this had been a life-long passion of hers to pursue.

Throughout the evening, Sara expanded on her work for Prisoners Abroad and explained the various ways in which Prisoners Abroad offer aid to those in need of it. For example Prisoners Abroad sends medication to those who need it, magazine/newspaper crosswords have also been posted as entertainment while also providing a vital lifeline back to the UK. They also send financial survival grants so that people can buy clean water and food as well. In addition to this, Prisoners Abroad has been known to work with the British Embassy to try and achieve the best possible outcomes in all situations. A fund has also been allocated towards paying for family members to fly overseas to visit their loved ones that have been imprisoned.

We received various positive comments from students that attended the Prisoners Abroad talk that evening, with many of them saying that it had been an insightful and informative talk. The committee members of the Amnesty Society would like to thank Sara Birch for her brilliant talk and, with future fundraising events, we hope that we can raise money for Prisoners Abroad and Amnesty International.

by Nikita Costello, Law Student at Brighton University 

Please get in touch if you are interested in fundraising for Prisoners Abroad