Our Inside Stories project has been recognised with five Koestler Awards. These prestigious accolades recognise the creative achievements of offenders, secure patients and detainees, providing encouragement, motivation and an outlet for creative energies and emotions.
The storybook Stories from Daddy to Me creceived the highest accolade, a Platinum Award (including monetary prize) in the “Anthology” section, together with a Spoken Text Commended Award for Friends Found Forever. Storytime Is Our Time won a Spoken Text Commended Award for The Mouse Who Lied and Mixed Media Commended Awards for I’m the King of the Zoo and Blast Off to The Moon!
We designed Inside Stories to give prison inmates the opportunity to develop new skills and work collaboratively to create a unique gift for their children. I am thrilled that their creativity, hard work and uniquely-expressed love for their children has been recognised with these prestigious Koestler Awards. We are immensely proud of them and feel privileged to have enabled them to achieve so much.
The project has been running since 2008, since when we have worked with more than 250 offenders. Ministry of Justice research suggests that maintaining family ties can reduce the likelihood of reoffending by 39% and Inside Stories is aimed at inmates who have children. Our professional writer, musician and visual artist help them to write, record and illustrate original stories for their children, giving them the skills and encouragement to forge stronger relationships with their families. We then produce a professionally-printed storybook including a spoken-word CD that the inmates present to their children at a special family visit in the prison.
I am delighted that, with the new funding from The Queen’s Trust that I announced in August, we will be extending this important project over the coming years to help more offenders create original stories for their children. To read the latest interview with one of our Inside Stories participants, click here.
Nicky Goulder, Chief Executive