Art and creative pieces created by Novus learners across the UK have been recognised in this year's Koestler Awards.
The Koestler Awards are a well-established initiative across our prison sites that hundreds of our learners enter each year. This year, we had approximately 480 entries across our prison sites where learners were able to showcase their creativity and skills.
Creative enrichment initiatives and their positive impact on learners
Learners in over 40 establishments where Novus work with men, women and young people, have recieved awards from the Koestler Trust in the 2023 awards, with eleven pieces receiving the high recognition - the Platinum Award.
The Koestler Awards are run by prison arts charity the Koestler Trust. The awards aim to provide feedback and encouragement to entrants of all abilities in visual art, design, writing and music.
Sarah Hartley, Novus' National Lead for Creative Strategies speaks positively about the Koestler Awards and its positive impact on learners:
The Koestler Awards provide a space that encourages self-expression, and personal growth. Creative activities like writing, painting, or music can be a constructive outlet for individuals and can help them address their past actions, develop new skills, and work towards personal growth and change.
Case Study - Koestler entries from HMP Humber
For this year's Koestler Awards, learners at HMP Humber produced some fantastic entries ranging from a full sized, brick Pirate Ship to creative writing, sculptures, paintings, mixed media, collage and drawing work.
We have recently, received news that a piece of our art that was entered into last year's Koestler Awards has been sold to a member of the public for £500 of which the learner recieved £250 and 25% was donated to victim support Charity and the remainder 25% was used to support Koestler Arts Trust.
This is fantastic news for this to happen two years in a row and the learner is, of course, very excited about this.
Opportunities for all learners
The Koestler Awards are a vast awards initiative that all learners can take advantage of no matter what courses they are on.
There are 52 categories which could be areas that staff of wider curriculum areas could use to align to their subjects and be an additional strand in which learners can apply their learning.
Learners who take part in the Koestler awards gain more than just an award. They are given the opportuntity to show off their skills and creativity to the wider community and put their skills and learning to the test which we want all learners to have access to no matter the course.
Incorporating arts and enrichment across all of our curriculum areas is key to engaging with our learners. Read more about our creative enrichment strategy.