Support thanks

Following Support4EdWoollard’s last post Ed’s family have received an overwhelming number of messages of support and would like to say thank you and send a message of solidarity to everyone who is serving an unduly long sentence following their part in a protest.

Tania Garwood said: “It has been 9 extremely long months…

“What can i say to you all? You are all truly amazing people. You have supported us right from the very beginning, and I really do not have the words to express what it means to all of us.

“We receive your messages, emails, and many letters and we forward copies of all of them to Edward. Like us, he continues to be amazed that he has so much support, and it really does help to keep his spirits up – it is the letters of support and warm words that have kept us going through our low points.

“To know how much people genuinely care, really does help to give us strength. Long may it continue, and solidarity to all who are in this unfortunate situation.

“We would also like to thank the support that The String of Pearls project has provided us.

“With love and all our thanks,  Tania, Mick, Edward & Hope xxxx”

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Family & friends of Ed Woollard urge supporters to wish him happy birthday

Happy 19th Birthday Ed

It’s Edward’s 19thbirthday this week and the start of his tenth month in prison, and to help keep his spirits up Ed’s family and friends are calling on his supporters to send him a birthday message.

The messages of support are still being sent to Ed, and both Ed and his family are incredibly grateful for everyone’s continued support.

To send Ed your birthday message, you can either leave a comment on the messages of support page or under this post, you can email him or send him a birthday card. Find out how to contact him by visiting the contact page.

Edward is doing as well as can be expected and we will be updating the website soon.

Many thanks again for everyone’s warm words of support and solidarity.

Posted in Edward Woollard, Happy Birthday Ed | 31 Comments

Ed’s family and friends march for the alternative

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 Images are the copyright of Sarah Evans and the use of any image should be sought by contacting Support4EdWoollard.


Family and friends of Ed Woollard joined the TUC’s march for the alternative in London on March 26, 2011.

Travelling to the demonstration from Hampshire, Ed’s family and friends joined the Andover TUC delegation coaches, arriving in London about 10.30am, where they attempted to cross Waterloo Bridge and join the march.

Due to the massive turnout of people of all ages and from all walks of life, the embankment became full and the delegation was directed eastwards, in the wrong direction, along The Strand and Fleet Street and they finally joined the march near Blackfriars Bridge.

Five hours later the delegation arrived at the start of the demonstration, on the embankment, by Westminster clock tower and met up with Ed’s grandparents who had been trying to catch up with the main delegation all day!

Tired and weary everyone got home about 10pm after a magnificent day that everyone was proud to be part of.


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Campaigners send message of solidarity to Saturday’s TUC march

Family and friends will carry Ed’s banner

Ed's banner, re created for the TUC march for the alternative on Saturday March 26

Ed Woollard’s family and friends have today issued a message of solidarity to the thousands joining the TUC’s march against government cuts on Saturday and pledged to carry Ed’s banner, which says: ‘I don’t want to be a slave to the sons of privilege’.

Ed’s granddad, George Farmer said: “We know that Ed would have wanted to be on the march carrying his banner, so we’ve re-made it and will be carrying it for him.

“We also know that Ed hopes very much that when he is released we won’t need to be marching again.

“As a pensioner I worry about the future for my children and my grandchildren – I grew up and benefited from a free education and our precious NHS – we have to make sure that future generations can benefit from that too.”

Tania Garwood, Ed’s mum said: “I’m supporting the TUC march on behalf of my son, my family and friends, and all the young people who have been given disproportionate and unduly harsh sentences for offences during their involvement in the recent anti-cuts protests.

“It is marvellous to know that so many people, from so many walks of life will be attending this march – working people, pensioners, people with disabilities, and charity and community group representatives: all there for the same reason – to call on the government to end its austerity cuts.”

Travelling up by coach the family will carry banners to raise awareness of the Support4EdWoollard campaign, which hopes to announce a new fund shortly to help young people in prison.

Read the press association article: Jailed student’s family join march.


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“Tell Justice Secretary why Ed’s 32-month sentence contradicts aims of government’s Green Paper”, urge campaigners

Ed on his 18th Birthday.

Campaigners are urging Edward Woollard’s supporters to take part in a government consultation before it ends on March 4, and to let justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke know their views on the sentencing and rehabilitation of offenders, and why they think Edward Woollard’s sentence is in complete contradiction to the aims of the government’s Green Paper, Breaking the cycle. (Download the template letter).

Chris Rawlinson, campaigner and Edward’s friend said: “It’s clear that the Justice Secretary’s Green Paper is supposed to be aimed at ending the damage caused by locking people up by providing meaningful and ‘improved rehabilitation’ along with ‘constructive community sentences’.

“I would like to ask Ken Clarke to consider where the justice is in locking up an 18 year-old lad for 32 months for doing something, in a moment’s madness, that hurt no one, and for which Edward has always been truly sorry.

“Everyone agrees that what Edward did was dangerous and stupid, but surely he would be more use to society, and certainly less of a cost to the taxpayer, if he was able to make a positive contribution by serving a community service sentence, rather than being locked away for 23 hours a day?”

Sarah Evans fellow campaigner said: “I hope people write to Ken Clarke and let him know what they think – we need rehabilitation for offenders, especially young ones.

“With prison numbers and costs rising, it surely time to reconsider Ed’s and other young people’s sentences and to start questioning how young offenders might better serve their time, so that we can be sure that their future life chances are not spoilt.

The justice secretary’s consultation, is in response to the government’s Green Paper: ‘Breaking the cycle’,  which aims to: “set out plans to plans to cut crime, create safer communities and ensure there are fewer victims. It proposes measures to break the destructive cycle of crime by locking up serious and violent offenders, making prisons places of hard work, introducing more robust, immediate and constructive community sentences, getting prisoners off drugs and improving rehabilitation by opening it up to innovation from the private and charitable sectors.”

Contributions to the consultation can be made by email or via the Ministry of Justice’s website, where you can find out more information on the consultation.

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Website launched to support Ed Woollard

media release

Edward Woollard’s family and friends have today launched a website, Support 4 Ed Woollard after receiving an “overwhelming” number of messages of support for the 18-year-old student serving a “disproportionate” 32-month sentence for violent disorder.

“We hope that by setting up this website we can keep everyone up-to-date with how Ed is doing, provide a space for people to leave a message of support and a way of contacting him,” said Tania Garwood, Edward’s mum.

Friends of Edward, Chris Rawlinson and Lee Chisman organised the first Facebook event to support him, attracting hundreds of supporting signatures, and a separate Facebook group Edward Woollard’s continued education, aimed at helping Ed to continue his studies in prison has been set up by someone who did not know the family.

The new website Support4EdWoollard will link to these and enable people not on Facebook to contact Edward too, and to add their name to the i petition.

Tania added: “The letters of support for Edward and offers of help to ensure that his education can continue through his sentence have been overwhelming and are really helping to keep Edward’s, and our spirits up.

“I would like to take this opportunity, on Edward’s behalf, to thank the very many people who have offered support and offers of help.

“Edward has always said that what he did was a dangerous and awful thing, and he massively regrets what was a split-second moment of madness, and we are all thankful that no-one was hurt.

“His actions were completely out of character and he has always been regarded as a hard-working and kind lad, and someone who looks out for other people.”

Chris Rawlinson, Edward’s friend and campaigner  said: “We know that Edward is not the only young person to be given an unduly long sentence following an incident during a protest, and by building a support network for Edward we hope to be able to offer support for others too.”

 

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Support 4 Ed Woollard

Edward Woollard on his 18th birthday

Edward Woollard on his 18th birthday

Edward Woollard’s parents, Tania Garwood and Mick Garwood would like to send a huge message of thanks to everyone for their messages of support.

“The letters of support for Edward and offers of help to ensure that his education can continue through his sentence have been overwhelming: those words of support are really helping to keep Edward’s spirits up, and I would like to take this opportunity, on Edward’s behalf, to thank the very many people who have sent messages of support,” said Tania Garwood, Edward’s mum.

“We hope that by setting up this website we can keep everyone up-to-date with how Ed is doing and provide a point of contact for anyone who would like to offer their support and an area on the messages of support page, for people to leave a message. Those messages have been an enormous boost to Ed, and to us.

“Edward has always said that what he did was a dangerous and awful thing, and he massively regrets what was a split-second moment of madness: we are all thankful that no-one was hurt.

Edward with his family

“What is clear is that Edward has never done anything like this before and he has always been regarded as a hard-working and kind lad, and someone who looks out for other people.” Tania said.

Friends of Edward have been building a Facebook campaign to support Edward, and the Facebook event: Against the Draconian Sentencing of Edward Woollard has already attracted several hundred supporting signatures. There is also a Facebook group Edward Woollard’s continued education, and it is those groups which have provided the catalyst to set up this website, to enable people not on Facebook to contact Edward too.

“We know that Edward is not the only young person to be given an unduly long sentence following an incident during a protest, and by building a support network for Edward we hope to be able to offer support for others too,” said Chris Rawlinson, Edward’s friend and local campaigner.

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