Prof Ruth Farwell, BACO’s Prisoner Support Volunteer and Educational and Training Lead responded to a request from staff at HMP Grendon to help during the Covid-19 Lock down. In collaboration with James at Ikon Gallery BACO donated £216 to benefit all residents on all the wings
“I would like to thank you both again for the purchase of the sketchbooks and canvases for all wings at Grendon, they have all now been collected and have been very gratefully received by all. I have heard that the majority of the canvases are being worked on towards some collective community based art which is great, and that the sketchbooks are being used as creative journals, amongst other things.”
HMP Grendon Creative Psychotherapist
The residents at HMP Grendon generously make donations to charity. In February 2020 the community on F Wing nominated BACO as a charity to receive sponsorship and on their initiative have raised funds from the residents on other wings. The donations mean so much particularly as the residents often have very little money in their accounts but nevertheless want to acknowledge their appreciation of BACO and help BACO support others.
In September 2020 we received this letter from a resident who requested it should be read by people who give money to Baco.
“I am writing to give some feedback to BACO and potential donors how the generous funding and support has helped me over the past few years.
Whilst undergoing intensive cognitive behavioural therapy at Grendon Prison, the BACO grants have encouraged me to to fulfill a life long passion to play the guitar. We are encouraged at Grendon to follow individual pursuits and I personally have used the books and guitar to teach myself how to read classical solo guitar, as a 59 year old man it has proved difficult. The intensity of the group therapy is so mentally demanding, which is why I needed to distract myself from the childhood trauma and abuse and abuse I suffered throughout my formative years.
The clothing grants that I have gratefully received have enabled me to dress in a dignified manner and to be honest its undignified to wear prison clothing. (track suits)
I am now at HMP Springhill , I will need your support to help me gain vocational skills so that I can lead a productive industrious life, in return, as a man with a 45 year criminal history I will be able to return to the community, a responsible, law abiding citizen. You have all helped me tremendously. From the bottom of my heart I thank you all.”