To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to share with you a recent letter sent to us by one of our stitchers, Roy, who explains how Fine Cell Work has helped him cope whilst serving his sentence.
Dear Fine Cell Work,
I thought I would just pen you a small letter to say how much I enjoy doing Fine Cell Work and why. I have suffered from bad depression all my adult life and for the first two years of prison life I did self-harm a lot. I was moved to another prison where I met a fellow inmate who asked me if I could sew. Thinking he meant something like replacing a button, I said yes. So he brought up to my cell the bit of work he was doing and showed me how to do it. Then he got me to try it and the next thing I knew, I was a Fine Cell Work stitcher!
I was given a pin cushion kit and a needle, and with the help of the volunteer and my fellow inmate, I began to stitch it.
Because I was not thinking bad thoughts, the time that I was banged up behind the door flew by and I did not self-harm at all. To date, I have only self-harmed twice since and that was when I had no work to do, so not bad at all. This is totally because you and others were happy with the work that I was handing in and believed in me enough to give – and keep giving – me commissions that keep my hands and mind busy. Everything I get I stitch to the best of my ability and I will continue to do so for as long as you think my work is good enough.
So please take my thanks to you and everyone involved with Fine Cell Work and know that what you all have done, and still do, has made something so bad bearable for me and loads of other inmates up and down the country. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart and please keep doing the good work and keep on sending me work and I will keep turning out work as best as I can.
Become a champion of second chances and support our work, so that we can help more people like Roy to lead independent, crime-free lives. You can help us by making a donation becoming a champion of Fine Cell Work by signing up to a regular donation, or by making a purchase from our shop.