Brewers Kidderminster has been supporting a fantastic project at a local prison which aims to help rehabilitate inmates by getting them involved in painting murals along the prison walkways.
Artist Faye Claridge worked with men at HMP Hewell on a programme called Mind Meadows to transform the pillars into colourful and vibrant meadow scenes.
Jay Barrowman, Regional Operations Manager, said: ‘Faye had previously done a project with Leamington Spa branch so she got in touch with us again to see if we could help with this one.
‘We provided 10 x 5 litre tins of Albany Smooth Masonry in the various colours required as well as dust sheets and brushes.’
Speaking on behalf of Hewell prison, Dawn Payne said: ‘It looks absolutely amazing and has exceeded my expectations. The skills that they have found in themselves and used will take them a long way. It’s given them hope.’
Some of the comments from the prisoners who took part included: “therapeutic and helps with your mind as well”, “ignited a passion in me personally that I never knew I had” and “given me hope that I’m more capable of doing other things than crime”.
Area Development Manager for the Midlands region, Robert Bayfield, attended the awards ceremony for all those who completed the module – one of five other projects.
Robert said: ‘It was quite an experience and a bit intimidating going into the prison! But during the ceremony the guys on the programme turned round and thanked me directly which was nice and they were really happy to chat afterwards. It was definitely worthwhile and the pillars looked great.’
Faye explained: ‘The project has made a great difference to the men as well as improving the built environment and the Governor is now considering which other areas of the prison could be creatively improved! Thanks again for all your help and support of the project, we’re so grateful and it’s hugely appreciated.’
Faye based the programme on a project in the Royal Horticultural Society archives which had looked at the effects of horticulture on wellbeing and building confidence and self-esteem when the prison had been used as a World War I internment camp.