FEATURE

Fine Cell Work: A story of hope

On Pimlico Road, a pop-up with a difference has found its temporary home
Fine Cell Work is an initiative that helps prisoners learn high-quality needlework to boost self-worth, instil self-discipline, foster hope and encourage them to lead crime-free lives. The result of this is beautiful handmade products made in British prisons.
 
In a pop-up shop on Pimlico Road, you can buy items such as cushions, tea towels, table linens, purses, earphone pouches and quilts, with interesting and unique designs embroidered on. The lease has just been extended until 2019, too.
 
The Fine Cell Work programme’s aim is to allow the prisoners to finish their sentences with work skills, money earned and saved, and the self-belief not to re-offend.

Prisoners learn with experienced volunteers and staff, who give them the opportunity to work independently and gain a sense of connection to the outside world through the sale of their work. Fine Cell Work has the largest workforce of hand-stitchers in Europe across 32 British prisons, engaging over 500 prisoners, and last year 4,870 products were made in prisons across the UK.
 
The programme has collaborated with well-regarded designers such as Cath Kidston, Ben Pentreath, William Yeoward, Margo Selby and Kit Kemp, and the products from Fine Cell Work have been sold in the V&A, Conran Shop and Tate Modern shops.
 
It’s the perfect place to go and buy an unusual, handcrafted gift, with a fantastic, uplifting story behind it.
 
Find out more about Fine Cell Work here.