Leave a legacy

Our community of incredible legacy pledgers all share one vision – to create a world where rehabilitation - and therefore a reduction in recidivism - is possible.

‘Our mother, Anne Tree, often used to joke that her sister Elizabeth Cavendish, who was a magistrate, sent prisoners down; while she, Anne, tried her best to make their lives better when they got there. But there was a strong sympathy between the two sisters. Both were astonishingly empathetic and compassionate – as well as wonderfully creative and passionate about making things, including tapestry and patchwork quilts. Elizabeth was a huge supporter of Fine Cell Work and so admiring of what the charity achieved, and the beauty of the needlework it produces. It was no surprise to us that she left a legacy to FCW in her will and, as executors, we were delighted to carry out her wishes, especially given the fortuitous timing, coming as it did just before COVID. We’re so thrilled it put some fuel in FCW’s tank at a critical moment and to see the charity moving forward, as vigorous, determined and transformative as ever.’ - Isabella Tree

Fine Cell Work’s 2020 legacy from Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, the sister of our founder Lady Anne Tree, was a game-changer for our charity. It gave us the security both to continue delivering our service during the pandemic, when prisons were closed to visitors, and to continue to make plans and dream big.

Even though sales and fundraised income went down during the pandemic, we knew we could continue doing our best for our workers without cutting staff or services, as many other charities were forced to do. We were able to pay prisoners bonuses for continuing to work during this difficult time, and we were able to pay them regardless of whether their work was sold.

The legacy also gave us the financial security to make ambitious plans for the end of the pandemic. We developed new, best-selling product lines with Cath Kidston’s Joy of Print, for launch in Chelsea in the week of our first ever garden at Chelsea Flower Show in 2022. The Stitchers' Garden was designed to represent the benefits of stitching on mental health and well-being. The theme for the year was ‘regrowth,’ to throw focus on the way we were rebuilding our work after the pandemic. It worked, with sales bouncing back to normal and phenomenal PR and coverage throughout the year.

It was also extremely valuable to be able to use the legacy on costs – marketing, design, management – which are harder to get funded than direct programme work, but which are critical to Fine Cell Work’s future. It supported the executive team to develop exciting new design partnerships, designs, marketing events and a detailed, five-year business plan to enable us to recharge and eventually expand Fine Cell Work as prisons reopened.

This commitment, and the invaluable funds you can contribute through a gift in your will, will help to rebuild the lives of so many people. In doing so, you will help to transform lives one by one - supporting prisoners through training and providing employment has a positive impact on the individual, local communities, wider society and the economy.

to learn more about leaving a legacy, please contact Vani - vkrishnaswamy@finecellwork.co.uk


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