Also operating in

women's prisons


Our History

In 2002, whilst working as a volunteer in HMP Channings Wood, Sharon Berry began to realise how difficult it was for imprisoned parents to keep in touch with their children. She helped the Writer in Residence develop the Storybook Dads idea. Sharon moved to HMP Dartmoor and introduced the scheme there, recording prisoners on the wings and editing the stories from home. It proved so popular that the Governor gave her a prison cell to work from and allowed her to employ a couple of prisoners to help with the editing. Other prisons had now heard about us and wanted to implement the project too. In order to attract some much needed funding, Sharon started the Storybook Dads charity in 2003.

The Governor of HMP Dartmoor gave us an empty classroom to work from and soon we were providing an editing service for several other prisons. Sharon also began training other prisons to set up their own editing suite and replicate the project.The prison gave us some new offices which were officially opened by Princess Anne in 2007. We began making story DVDs as well as CDs and this popular add-on is gaining in popularity in prisons across the UK. We also started to facilitate Storywriting workshops and deliver training to the Armed Forces. We started to employ selected ex prisoners as home editors upon release. So far, we have employed 16 on short term contracts to help them get back on the road to a crime-free life.

Sharon with our patron Terry Waite CBE

In 2013, we introduced the Me and My Dad project which is gradually being disseminated throughout the prison estate. In 2015, we moved our HQ to HMP Channings Wood due to the inevitable closure of HMP Dartmoor. In 2016 we increased our work party of prisoner editors to 18.

Our editing suite and Headquarters at HMP Channings Wood

Storybook Dads is a registered charity in England and Wales. Charity Registration No. 1101208