An evening reception and selling exhbition was held at Ibthorpe Manor Farm, raising £13,500 funds for Fine Cell Work.
Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise that teaches needlework to prison inmates. Its mission is to reduce reoffending by helping prisoners earn money, gain skills and build a sense of self worth.
Speaking at the event, Dr Katy Emck, the Chief Executive of Fine Cell Work, said that Fine Cell Work was not just about giving prisoners an amusing past time and then selling their work outside the prison, it was about changing lives, giving the work ethic and the concept of achievement to people who may never have experienced it before. Prisoners gained self worth from knowing that their work is appreciated and sold at events like the one in Ibthorpe.
At the event, cushions, quilts and other goods were sold by the several hundred people who attended. Sir Geroge commended the work of Fine Cell, and said it was very much in line with what the Coalition government was seeking to do in reducing reoffending, and making better use of the time which people spent in prison.
Sir George thanked Peter and Joanna Jensen for allowing the event to be held in their home, and said he was delighted by the number of embroidered cushions, rugs and hand stitched quilts that were being sold.
Also speaking at the event was Louisa Macfarlane, a Fine Cell Work volunteer in HMP Albany who explained how much the prisoners valued the opportunity to do something constructive. The event also heard from Mark Elliott, Head of Activities at HMP Albany.