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Prisoners Crafting Charity Hosts Christmas Sale and Drop in Talk

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by Sian Gwilliam (subscribe)
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Buy beautiful hand-crafted items from Prisoners
On 27th November just after your first cup of tea at 9am (until 4pm), the doors of 20th Century Theatre at 291 Westbourne Grove, W112QA will open for an inspiring Christmas Exhibition and Sale hosted by charity Fine Cell Work.

Fine Cell Work : Pentreath Cushions

You can also join a free drop-in talk at 11am and 2pm discussing 'Working in Prison'.

Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self esteem. As an Officer at HMP Wandsworth says "... being involved gives these men dignity in work, and through this dignity in life. When a man gains self-respect he may start addressing his offensive behaviour".

Cushions for sale online

Those involved have created hand-made cushions, bags and quilts in during their time in prison. Here are some facts that are bound to stimulate you;

spend an average of 17 hours each day locked in their cells, and even longer on weekends and holidays

are trained by Fine Cell Work annually in 20 prisons in England and Wales

is the average time it takes to produce one of our products

are men! A fact many find surprising. This well reflects the fact that 96% of the prison population are men.

...give us their time at events, in prison and at our head office. Of these...

go into prisons every two weeks to teach and mentor the stitchers. All the teaching is carried out by qualified volunteers, without whose dedication and generosity Fine Cell Work could not exist

...were sold since we started in 1997, including commissions for clients like the V&A, Tate and Royal Palaces

Fine Cell Work
Items for sale from Fine Cell Work

Continue to be inspired, and read an excerpt from Karl's story here...

"The main thing in prison is to keep in contact with your family. It's the most important thing... But you can't afford to do it. You could write a letter but some people can't write. And the sewing's so easy to do, and that's the best bit, because a lot of people in prison are illiterate. They can't read and write and they can't count. But you teach them to count to ten and they can do the sewing."

Fine Cell Work
For sale online from Fine Cell Work

If you can't make it to the sale this week, bookmark the website. The quality of products is high, the charity does great work, and what's more there is a great story behind each item they sell.
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Where: 20th Century Theatre
Cost: Free
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