Fine Cell Work enables prisoners to build fulfilling and crime-free lives by training them to do high-quality, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self esteem. They can also learn sewing machine and textile production skills in the prison-based workshops. Their aim is to allow prisoners to finish their sentences with work skills, money earned and saved, and the self-belief to not re-offend.
Currently working in 32 British prisons, and engaging with over 500 prisoners each year, Fine Cell Work addresses key issues affecting prisoners’ offending behaviours: establishment and reinforcement of work skills, building relationships, and mental resilience.
Prisoners are taught by experienced volunteers and staff to work in their cells and in prison workshops. Having the opportunity to work independently helps them to regain control of their lives and allows them to maintain dignity. Prisoners gain a sense of connection to the world outside prison through the sale of their work, which can be bought through the Fine Cell Work shop.
Fine Cell Work has the largest workforce of hand-stitchers in Europe – 290 at any one time, and counting. Last year 4,870 products were made in prisons across the UK. Prisoners spend an average of 24 hours a week crafting finely embroidered cushions, patchwork quilts, a range of contemporary bags and giftware in their cells.
Gepp Solicitors were delighted to be the sponsors of this event at Layer Marney which had many influential members of the Judiciary in attendance. Guest speaker and recently retired Chief Constable of Essex, Mr Stephen Kavanagh addressed the assembled with a passionate endorsement of the work Fine Cell Work do and their commitment to reduce reoffending. Attending from Gepps Specialist Crime Team were Senior Partner Roger Brice, Elizabeth Bradshaw and Peter Butterfield.