ART: A Route to Resettlement

Art Works with Vincent House

As a business with a social purpose that has used some of its surplus to help facilitate projects providing support to ex-offenders when they leave prison, we are always interested to follow what is happening in the justice system.

During the summer the latest Justice Secretary, David Lidington wrote a thought provoking article on prison reform for the Evening Standard which underlined the importance and value of rehabilitation.  If you missed it read it here:

A few years ago we worked with Wanno Media based in Wandsworth prison which provided graphic design and artwork services and acted as a great opportunity for the prisoners to acquire new skills that could help them on release.  Funding cuts and personnel changes within the prison, which is the largest in the country and one of the oldest, led to a decline in Wanno Media’s activities, although a sister project, Wanno Radio continues.

In 2008, around the same time we used the services of Wanno Media, we launched ‘Art Works for Vincent House’ with The Learning Journey (TLJ).  Developed by some of those involved in WannoMedia, TLJ was a social enterprise dedicated to supporting ex-offenders seeking to resettle themselves in society after prison.  It focused on providing professional services in art and design.

We gave TLJ the task of devising ‘Art Works for Vincent House’ in which the corridors of Vincent House would become the home of a permanent art exhibition.  The project led to a selection of 60 copies of posters and prints reflecting the era in which Vincent House had its origins as well as the creation of more than 60 original decorative panels reflecting the art styles of the early decades of the House’s history.

To launch this exciting and worthwhile project, we held an exhibition in the lounge of Vincent House featuring panels explaining the scheme and displayed samples of the artworks as well as items of art created by some of the prisoners in HMP Wandsworth at that time.

Unfortunately TLJ ceased when its founder retired a few years ago; however, more recently we were pleased to help facilitate The Art House another valuable scheme using art to help homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Sheffield.  Read our blog post for more information about that or visit their website or their Facebook page.

We also continue to support the work of our partners Trinity Homeless Projects and Langley House Trust, who provide support and accommodation to ex-offenders and to whom we lease two properties, Carlisle House and Hope House respectively, on benevolent terms. If you wish to know more about their work, please visit their websites.

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