Melissa Wyndham was invited to join the board of Fine Cell Work by Lady Anne Tree in 2003 and she is the charity’s longest serving trustee. From the beginning Melissa has worked tirelessly on behalf of the charity. As leader of FCW’s Design Committee, she has helped to build a recognised brand that has become in certain circles, “the go-to luxury brand with a conscience.” She has created some of FCW’s most iconic and best selling cushions (the pineapple design being the latest example), and has persuaded other designers to come onboard. Thanks to her William Yeoward, Allegra Hicks, Nicky Haslam and Jasper Conran have all contributed designs and most recently, she persuaded Kit Kemp to join our Design Committee.
Melissa has passionately networked and fundraised, generously opening up her address book and never leaving a stone unturned. Through her connection with Grosvenor Estate and the Westminster Foundation she enabled the then tiny staff of FCW to move from a basement in Acton to the central London premises they still occupy today.
Melissa has helped raise more money for FCW than anyone else and has a talent for getting FCW to the top of donor lists. Despite all of this, Melissa doesn’t stand on ceremony and is never afraid to roll up her sleeves.
Melissa also persuaded the CEO of Cadogan Estates to give Fine Cell Work a pop-up shop in Sloane Square in the summer of 2013.
In order to celebrate and acknowledge Melissa’s hard work, we are rolling out a concept which she has helped pioneer at HMP Wandsworth, which will be named Wyndham’s Workshops. A Wyndham Workshop is a dedicated workroom where prisoners are able to learn skills to make them more employable, such as sewing and embroidery machine work, upholstery and basic employment and team skills. Here they are able to extend and expand their training with Fine Cell Work by machine-finishing and upholstering products which have been hand-sewn in cells. They receive one-on-one support from skilled volunteers and can gain City & Guilds textiles qualifications.
The cost of setting up, maintaining and equipping a Wyndham Workshop in its first year is £28,000.
Here's a breakdown of the costs and equipment. We are hoping to raise £28,000 for the first one and it is the aim to set up three more workshops over the next three years.
- Office support, including post and packaging (£3,000 pa) £250 pcm
- Sewing Machine including st-up and annual maintenance, 6 required £500 each
- Upholstery support tutor (7 months @£7,700) £1,100 pcm
- Volunteer expenses £1,120 pa
- Volunteer training and support (10 days) £1,176 pa
- Materials used in the workshops £2,500 pa
- Annual pay for prisoners in the workshop £3,000 pa
- Management support (10 days) £3,066 pa
- Workshop facilitation (30 days) £4,410 pa
If you would like to fund the Wyndham Workshop Appeal, you can contribute with one of the above amounts in the Donate page.