26th Sept 2017
Past Masters Hugh Toler and Nick Charrington attended the opening evening of Fine Cell Works’ new textiles employment workshop for ex-prisoners at 192 Queenstown Road, Battersea SW8 3NR, on 26 September, along with the Master and Liverymen Ann Esslemont and Liz Elvin. Both Katy Emck OBE, the founding director, and Victoria Gillies, the Managing Director, were hosting. The occasion was the formal opening of the Clothworkers’ Studio with an address by the Past Master Clothworker, as the Clothworkers Foundation had made a generous grant to fund the purchase of the lease (5-year renewable). FCW is retaining its current premises at 38 Buckingham Palace Rd, to be used as a HQ and Admin centre; their Pop-Up shop in Pimlico Green will remain until after Christmas.
The new workshop is the fruit of a two-year pilot which saw 60% of the participants move into careers in soft furnishings, upholstery and other forms of textiles work. The studio can handle six ex-prisoners at a time for training and apprenticeships and FCW anticipates supporting 60 ex-prisoners annually in to training, resettlement and employment. The studio is also the base from which training services and embroidery supplies are managed and distributed to the 600 or so prisoners currently in the programme whilst serving time; all receive visits and personal training from a volunteer force of mentor embroiderers. Truly impressive and the Broderers and the Broderers Charity Trust are delighted to be supporting FCW in its work going forward.
Attached are photos of the Broderers’ Embroidery Machine gifted to Fine Cell Work in Dec 2012. The machine was initially stationed in Wandsworth Prison, and is now in pride of place 192 Queenstown Road. Also attached is the Broderers embroidered cushion presented to us by FCW a few years ago, which is a fine example of their quality machine work.