Across November and December 2023, learners in the Horticulture department at HMP Buckley Hall made Christmas wreaths to sell to members of staff over the festive period.
The material for the wreaths was mostly grown and collected around the grounds by learners. They showed real initiative throughout the project, drying flowers, grasses etc. in the Polytunnel since September in order to have material for the wreaths.
Wreaths were sold to members of staff, and altogether the Horticulture department raised £950 which is a fantastic achievement. The learners decided to donate the money to four charities: Christies, Cash 4 Kids, Air Ambulance and Oxfam. Each charity received £237.50 each, boosted by the Gift Aid amount of £59.38.
Taking part in initiatives like this benefit learners in a multitude of ways. By creating something and being able to sell it for a profit helps learners develop their entrepreneurial skills, a valuable skillset to have which they can utilise upon release.
Giving the proceeds of the wreath making to charity, benefits learners immensely as they are giving back to the community. Being able to help those in need provides a sense of accomplishment and builds a sense of social responsibility which will help learners integrate back into society upon release.
The wreath making initiative was a success amongst learners who commented positively on the experience:
"We really enjoyed the whole process and felt good about giving something back to the community through various charities. This is a difficult time within the prison over the Christmas period and this exercise helped to feel included and was a great learning experience."
To read more about the different programs/initiatives we run across our sites, take a look at our news section.