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Following last year’s success of our first Jail & Bail event, we are bringing it back to Oxford but with a new twist. On Thursday 13th June Helen & Douglas House will be locking up Anneliese Dodds MP and 6 other ‘guilty’ (for entirely fictitious crimes, of course) local business women in Oxford Castle and Prison as part of the charity’s ‘Jail & Bail: Here Come The Girls’ fundraiser. 

Each prisoner will be arrested and charged with their ‘terrible’ crime – four curries consumed in one weekend – and will be banished to the cells of Oxford Castle and Prison, only to be released if they can raise £999 in bail money. The 10 participants are hoping to beat the amount of money raised at last year’s Jail & Bail fundraiser which was massive £11,099 in just one day.

The prisoners will be picked up from the Hilton Garden Inn Abingdon in a police van, escorted to Oxford Castle and Prison and taken to the crypt by the prison guard, who will lock them up with their only means of communicating being a phone and laptop. In order to get themselves released from prison, they have to reach their bail money of £999 each.

To raise the money for bail, each inmate will need be very resourceful, using their contacts to help and asking local businesses to fundraise on their behalf; every penny really will count. They will also be featured on our Helen & Douglas House Facebook Live feed from 2-3pm in a desperate plea to raise enough money to be released. Don’t worry, you will able to tell who the inmate is as, of course, they will be wearing their stripy ‘traditional’ prison uniform!

One of the 9 Oxfordshire businesswomen taking part is Anneliese Dodds MP. Anneliese is the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Oxford East. She was elected in June 2017, and has been a shadow Treasury minister since July 2017. Anneliese was formerly a Member of the European Parliament for the South East of England from 2014 to 2017, and before that worked for several years as an academic. Anneliese Dodds MP said:

‘I am spending a day ‘behind bars’ in Oxford Prison on 13th June to raise money for Helen & Douglas House because they do great work supporting local children with terminal conditions and their families.

‘Oxford residents may well be aware that Douglas House, which supported young adults, had to close due last year to a lack of funding. I am taking part in the ‘Jail & Bail’ event to raise money for the hospice and highlight the need for Helen & Douglas House to get appropriate and sustainable statutory funding in the future.’

The 8 ‘guilty’ Oxfordshire businesswomen who will be taking part are:

Anneliese Dodds

Name: Anneliese Dodds
From: Member of Parliament for Oxford East
Crime: 4 curries consumed in 1 weekend
Bail me out by donating to my JustGiving page.

Michelle Willis

Name: Michelle Willis
From: Vodafone
Crime: Forgetting my team’s names
Bail me out by donating to my JustGiving page.

Lisa Armstrong

Name: Lisa Armstrong
From: Active Staff Ltd
Crime: Organising Temps to Move Stonehenge Before Summer Solstice
Bail me out by donating to my JustGiving page.


Mina Leal-Birch

Name: Mina Leal-Birch
From: Tamesis Partnership
Crime: Drinking halves of mint tea in a historic public house!
Bail me out by donating to my JustGiving page.

Keeley Dennyschene

Name: Keeley Dennyschene
From: Hilton
Crime: Excessively long finger nails
Bail me out by donating to my JustGiving page.

Sian Pages

Name: Sian Pages
From: Not Just Travel
Crime: Excessive Globetrotting
Bail me out by donating to my JustGiving page.


Ruth Hawkins

Name: Ruth Hawkins
From: Boardman, Hawkins & Osborne LLP
Crime: Excessive crisp eating
Bail me out by donating to my JustGiving page.

The individual who raises the most amount of money will not only be released first, but they will also be rewarded with their very own set of engraved handcuffs.

We would like to thank Oxford Castle and Prison for allowing our inmates to be incarcerated there and helping to raise vital funds for us to help local terminally ill children. A former prison with a rich history, today Oxford Castle and Prison is a local visitor attraction with a past stretching far beyond your imagination. To find out more about the castle please visit their website

Saffron Bowdler, From Oxford Castle and Prison said: ‘We are truly honoured to be hosting the second ever Jail & Bail Event here at Oxford Castle & Prison. After the success of the first one last year, we can’t wait to see how much the prisoners can raise this time around! The incredible work that Helen & Douglas House do is such a crucial support and life-line for so many families here in Oxfordshire and we couldn’t be more thrilled to help them raise funds to help continue their amazing mission.’