Bracton Centre triumphs in Koestler Trust awards

Bracton Centre service users have scooped a record trust haul of 14 awards from the prestigious Koestler Trust  prison arts charity.

The awards were presented at a special presentation ceremony on Wednesday 15 December at the Bracton Centre, our medium secure unit. They included three gold, three silver and three bronze medals, one highly commended and four commended.

Opening the proceedings, Director of Forensic and Prison Services, John Enser said: “This is a tremendous achievement for all involved. Bracton Centre winning entries included drawing, rap music, journalism, greeting cards and creative writing – the spread of creativity is absolutely amazing and I’m really proud of you all.”

The awards were presented by the Koestler Trust’s Director of Business, Joyti Waswani. She said: “We received over 6,000 entries nationwide this year so the results at the Bracton Centre are phenomenal. Out of a total of 230 golds the three won by the Bracton represent a massive achievement. I feel privileged and honoured to be here today -  there is so much warmth here and you have all made me feel very welcome.”

The judges this year included the renowned film director Mike Leigh, poet Wendy Cope, and writers Will Self and Anthony Horowitz. The Koestler Trust has been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 47 years.

The awards inspire people to take part in the arts, work for achievement and transform their lives. Head of Occupational Therapy at the Bracton, Patsy Fung said: “Some of our service users have never won anything in their lives. These awards really build their self-esteem and help them to believe that they can achieve positive things.”

The annual national exhibition of this work attracts 10,000 visitors - showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings. The Koestler Trust depends entirely on donations.

Photo captions

1. Seated on one of the Gold winning entries, from left: John Enser, Joyti Waswani, Bracton Centre Koestler Arts Coordinator Louise Sheridan and Patsy Fung.

2. From left, John Enser and Joyti Waswani with Focal Point's Kim Weatherley, her Husband John, and Roy Turner.

Published on 17th December 2010