Paul's Story


I thought I would just pen you a small letter to say how much I enjoy doing Fine Cell Work, and why. I am what is called a lifer. I was sent to prison in early 2008. I am in a wheelchair. And no I am not after sympathy. I did wrong so I deserved what I got. Anyway, I have suffered from bad depression all my adult life, and I have tried to end it all a few times, and for the first two years of prison life I tried and did self harm a lot.

Then I was moved to a new prison and an inmate made himself known to me and to start with he just talked to me. One day he asked me if I could sew. So thinking he meant as in replacing a button I said yes, so he brought up to my cell the bit of work he was doing and showed me how to do it. Then he got me to try it, and the next thing I found he was telling Louisa [the FCW volunteer] that I wanted to become a Fine Cell stitcher, and I was given a pin cushion and a needle, and with this inmate’s help I began to stitch it.

Because I was not thinking bad thoughts, the time that I was banged up behind the door flew by, and I did not self harm at all. To date, I have only self harmed two times, and that’s when I had no work, and that is not bad at all. This is totally because you and others were happy with the work that I was handing in, and believed in me enough to give and keep giving me commissions that keep my hands and mind busy, which is why everything I get I do to the best of my ability. I will continue to do it as long as you feel my work is good enough.

So please take my thanks to you and everyone involved with Fine Cell Work and know that what you all have done, and still do, has made something so bad bearable for me and loads of other inmates up and down the country. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and please keep doing the good work, and keep on sending me work and I will keep turning out work as best I can.

If you have been moved by this story, please show your support for our work with a donation. Every contribution helps us to help more people like Paul.

(6) Comments

  • Nora Brown
    08 December 2011, 16:56

    Due to living on a very tight budget I was going to have to cancel my FCW standing order, but, after reading Paul's story, I will keep it going. What a moving testimony.

  • Julia
    08 December 2011, 18:07

    Hello Paul, If you have access to the internet and are able to read this I wanted to say THANK YOU! Thank you for your bravery in sharing with us about self-harm and feelings of low self esteem. Good luck to you for the future. I hope that with every piece of work you undertake you'll feel a returning pride and confidence. All good wishes, Julia

  • jacqueline waller
    08 December 2011, 18:18

    A wonderful story, so full of hope. Paul has found his creativity and in so doing is giving something valuable back to society.
    To be surprised, as he surely was to find he can stitch, is a present to himself after such a troubled life.

  • Susan Hill
    08 December 2011, 22:48

    This is exactly what FCW is all about.. I`m proud to be involved and delighted to have commissioned work which is always of such a fantastically high standard. Paul's story is inspiring. Please thank him for writing it.

  • Anonymous commenter
    10 December 2011, 14:59

    Thanks for telling us your story Paul, it's really inspiring. I just ordered a cushion and have a plan to do some stitching of my own to make the winter a happier and more peaceful time.

  • Sheena
    11 December 2011, 15:17

    I am so pleased that FCW is helping people like Paul spend their time usefully. I bought a fish cushion recently for my Granddaughter for Christmas. I love the bright colours and I'm sure she will too.

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