Fine Cell Work trains and pays prisoners to do high quality, creative needlework to foster hope, skills and employability. The prisoners’ products are sold to museums and designers and we have a programme supporting them into textiles training and employment after release. There is no other scheme enabling prisoners to earn money through paid, creative employment throughout their prison sentences. They do the work “behind the door” in their cells.
“You’re rejected by society and have to reflect on what you’ve done. Then you need something to get some self-worth back. With the quilting you can go inside yourself, start creating things and feeling you actually can belong to society.”
We work with 500+ prisoners and 300+ volunteers annually, 68 of whom teach classes in 19 prisons. We have 27 prisons and 178 volunteers-in-waiting. The need for calming, productive, low-cost activity from prisons is overwhelming.
Our volunteers provide pastoral support and formal training to people suffering from chronic institutionalisation and extremely poor mental health and skills. They motivate them to do beautiful, high quality work, building a creative, sustaining environment in the bleak world of prison.
"I was shut down to everything then Fine Cell Work became my family.”