Inmates inside Belmarsh Prison have pulled together to make donations for residents in need across the borough.

The Greenwich Community Hub has been operating since March 2020, accepting donations of all kinds which Charlton Athletic's Community Trust has been delivering to those in need during the pandemic.

And both staff and inmates inside Woolwich's HMP Belmarsh have joined in with the community spirit, with prisoners donating from their minimal funds to go towards to the community hub.

Custodial manager Rachel Gill said the prison's residents had been affected as much as anyone during the last year, with tightened restrictions often resulting in them spending the majority of their day behind a cell door, unable to socialise, see family or address their offending behaviour.

Belmarsh Prison in Woolwich, south east London

Belmarsh Prison in Woolwich, south east London

But despite this, a group of prisoners had show "kindness and generosity" which Ms Gill said would benefit those who receive the care parcels but also the inmates by allowing them to tap into their need to give and care.

She said: “Enabling the residents at HMP Belmarsh to show compassion to those in need has offered encouragement, positivity and a community spirit in this strange, unprecedented, and tumultuous time.”

The idea came from one of the residents of HMP Belmarsh who wanted to find a way to help the wider community affected by Covid-19, and the custodial manger said that "many other residents were wanting to donate from their minimal funds."

Belmarsh Prison in Woolwich, south east London

Belmarsh Prison in Woolwich, south east London

Staff at the site helped it become a reality, and the prison got in touch with the Royal Greenwich Community Hub in December.

“Residents have been giving generously and enthusiastically; since December, we’ve had four collections and one House block has so far raised over £300."

HMP Belmarsh is a Category A (maximum security) prison in south east London, housing some of the nation's worst criminals including murders and terrorists, as well as high-profile inmates such as Julian Assange.

The hub was set up in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit the UK with the aim of supporting Greenwich residents affected by the impacts of coronavirus.

The Charlton Athletic Community Trust, which delivers the items across the borough, says it has received over 100,000 calls from local residents over the last year who needed support for a variety of different things.

This included emergency food deliveries, prescription collections and just a chat from one of the hub's befriending calls.

Steve Hicks, Health Improvement Manager at CACT, said: “It has been great to receive such kind donations from the staff and inmates at Belmarsh.

"The residents of the Royal Borough of Greenwich have really benefitted, as it has helped us be able to continue to offer emergency food parcels.”

Belmarsh's Ms Gill added: "The COVID-19 pandemic has brought havoc on all our lives, whoever we are, and has made it difficult for us not to feel and be negative.

"Although the impact of this cannot be minimised, those actions which create change for the better become all the more important."

If you, or anyone you know in the Royal Borough of Greenwich needs support from the Community Hub, call 0800 470 4831 (Monday to Saturday, 8:30am to 6pm) or email