Lloyds TSB Foundation grant helps set up creative learning project in Guernsey Prison

June 11th, 2013 by LLoyds TSB Foundation for the Channel Islands

A £25,000 grant from the Lloyds TSB Foundation is helping prepare prisoners for life back in the Guernsey community.

The money has enabled Guernsey Prison to set up the ‘Creative Learning in Prison’ project to encourage prisoners to develop communication skills and to build self-confidence through art and writing.

Julie Smith, Head of Learning and Skills at Guernsey Prison, said they felt very privileged that the Lloyds TSB Foundation had wanted to support the project.

“It is often difficult for prisoners when they are released from prison to integrate back into the community,” shesaid.

“Many were unemployed and homeless before they were imprisoned, so they lack confidence and self-esteem.”

“We hope the project will help them rebuild their self-esteem by giving them communication skills and the confidence to re-enter the community and the employment market,” she said.

Creative Learning in Prison is a three-faceted programme involving art, writing, poetry, design and publishing for prisoners who do not necessarily want to follow academic qualifications while serving their sentences.

Guernsey Prison already has funding in place for the core curriculum subjects, literacy, numeracy and ITC, but limited funding to promote the arts.

The first tangible result of the grant is an art exhibition, in association with the Guernsey Arts Commission, at the greenhouse gallery in St Peter Port from 27 June to 31 August 2013 to showcase prisoners’ art.

Julie Smith said “prisoners can face social exclusion from their community so we are trying to break down that barrier which is why we are staging the exhibition.”

“We are hoping it will generate interest and allow prisoners who have artistic talent to be able to use their skills when they are released into the community,” she said.

The other two aspects of the project are to aim to publish an anthology of poetry written in Guernsey Prison and produce a newsletter for prisoners.

“We have prisoners who, as part of their rehabilitation, do not wish to pursue academic qualifications.”

“We therefore would like to encourage and promote literacy using poetry as a medium for this resulting in the production of an anthology of poems. Seeing their work published can help prisoners to rebuild their self-esteem, confidence and improve their literacy skills,” she said.

“The third project is to research and publish a prison magazine.”

“To achieve this we want to offer prisoners the opportunity to study for an accredited course in journalism to promote literacy and communication skills throughout the prison,” Julie Smith said.

The Lloyds TSB Foundation for the Channel Islands has donated in excess of £12 million to charities in the Channel Islands, the UK and overseas since its inception in 1985.

It is a grant-making trust that decides on and makes donations to charities in both bailiwicks.

Its mission is to support and work in partnership with charitable organisations which help people, especially those who are disadvantaged or disabled, to play a fuller role in communities throughout the Channel Islands.

The Foundation is legally independent of the Lloyds TSB Group and an independent board of trustees determines the policies.

The Chairman of the local foundation is Jurat Stephen Jones and the Executive Director is John Hutchins.

Mr Hutchins said “we are delighted to be able to support this very worthwhile cause.”

“The Creative Learning in Prison project will help prisoners re-enter the community and help build the confidence that they need to get back into employment. This excellent initiative has our full support,” he said.

 

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