Sponsor a Prisoner's training

FCW 21

Thank you for putting me forward for the Award. It was a surprise and a delight to win it. It made me feel like at last I was doing something worth doing and people are looking past my crime.” Fine Cell Worker

Fine Cell Work’s apprenticeship programme, Stitchwise, encourages our workers onto a path away from re-offending.  Ministry of Justice figures show that re-conviction rates for prisoners with qualifications are 15% lower than re-conviction rates for those with none.

Stitchwise gives prisoners the technical expertise to stitch professional commissions. It also encourages creativity, independent thinking and teamwork.

But Stitchwise is not just a course in fine embroidery. It is an introduction to a new way of life. Progression through the programme involves prisoners volunteering as Peer Mentors and Class Co-ordinators, helping to organise classes and teach their peers. Prisoners can play an active role in the management of Fine Cell Work, and pass on the skills they themselves have learned.

“I love the work I do and it’s nice to see the men I’ve introduced and helped to sew get from Fine Cell Work the same satisfaction, self-belief and pride as I do on a daily basis.”

All prisoners are given certificates and cash awards for attaining the different levels as they progress through the apprenticeship. The amounts are relatively small, but the boost to prisoners’ morale when they receive a certificate is second to none.

We depend on donations to fund these awards.

  • £15 will fund a Beginner Award
  • £30 will fund an Intermediate Award
  • £50 will fund an Advanced Award

We also occasionally ask for donations of materials to help with this work. The practice pieces for our certficates are done using donated materials. We occasionally put out a call for these materials via the News & Events section of our website, but if you have unwanted materials at home, please get in touch - we may be able to use them!

“Because I have been supported I have supported others”. Message embroidered on the HMP Wandsworth quilt for the V&A