Visit to Fine Cell Work - August 2022

Fine Cell Work (FCW) have been a regular beneficiary of support from the Broderer’s Charitable Trust. Previous donations have allowed FCW to purchase sewing machines; make up extra kits to be sent into prisons at the start of the pandemic and support production of the regular twice yearly Stitch Up magazine that goes to every prison stitcher and also to supporters.

Fine Cell work are celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2022.  Victoria Gillies, Executive Director is holding a copy of the latest edition of Stitch Up, which includes an article on the Broderers’ Exhibition in February this year.

Fine Cell volunteers go into prisons to teach and stitch together in groups – an activity that is increasingly rare in prisons with tight budgets. Pre pandemic FCW had 29 groups in 19 prisons with 15 individual stitchers in other prisons. (Lone stitchers arise when prisoners are relocated to a different prison and they want to continue stitching.) The pandemic saw all prisons close to visitors. Numbers of prisoners stitching fell as some completed their sentence and there was no opportunity to recruit and do initial training for new prisoners.

Today prisons are opening up again and FCW have 15 classes in 11 prisons with lone stitchers in 14 other prisons. FCW are still working to rebuild work in prisons post the pandemic, during which stitchers could not be visited by volunteers.

Purchasers of FCW products are always invited to send a thank you note to the stitcher. These notes and the skills developed from stitching give prisoners a sense of self esteem as well as an income, which all contribute to the significantly lower re-offending rates for those prisoners who stitch.

Left to right: Volunteers Lucy and Terri are preparing kits to go into a prison for stitching and fellow Broderer Kitty Adam looks on.

The Broderers are delighted to support Fine Cell Work in their support to prisoners.