A CHARITY founder battling to transform the lives of youngsters whose parents are locked behind bars has been honoured by the prime minister.

Sarah Burrows, who lives in Iffley, has been trying to break the cycle of re-offending since she launched charity Children Heard and Seen in the county three years ago.

She is now celebrating after being prized with a Point of Light award from Prime Minister Theresa May for devoting her time to supporting families in need.

Ms Burrows said: "I am very appreciative to have won this award and for the recognition this brings to everyone who has supported the setting up of Children Heard and Seen.

"Children of prisoners are an invisible group and I feel passionately that they should be supported to fulfil their potential.

"Breaking the cycle of generational offending is not only a positive outcome for the child but for the community as a whole by reducing the anti social behaviour and crime in their area.

"My wish for the future is that all the children in England and Wales will be supported by Children Heard and Seen not only the children of prisoners within Thames Valley."

Ms Burrows was inspired to launch the charity after discovering that 65 per cent of boys who have a parent with a conviction will go on to commit crimes.

Determined to break the cycle, she set out to use mentoring and community activities to support youngsters while their parents serve time in jail.

In a personal letter to Ms Burrows, the Prime Minister praised Ms Burrows for her team's work to reduce offending, mental health issues and family breakdown.

Ms May said: "Through Children Heard and Seen, you have created an important support network for children facing challenging circumstances.

"Your programmes are giving a voice to children of prisoners and helping families to break the cycle of offending that can develop."

Children are matched with volunteer mentors who help raise aspirations, providing support within their homes and communities.

Multiple weekly activity groups with a parent in prison support youngsters through the difficult time, including singing songs revealing their feelings about loved ones being locked away.

Youngsters also get stuck in crafting books of photos of their day-to-day life which can be whisked off to their parent in jail.

The charity's work encourages children and young people to form relationships with their offending parents before release from prison, offering them a safe space to share their feelings.

The Point of Light award is handed out each day and recognises outstanding people making remarkable changes within their communities and inspiring others.

Ms Burrows was the 707th winner of the award, which honours 'shining examples' of volunteering across the UK.