piano original - Prisoner Training & Placements


Text arrives, Friday evening: from Harold whose been here on a placement for about 4 months… “Chris I’ve found an old piano for free if we pick up, you know how my mind works, I’ll make something of it. Can we pick up Monday?”.

It arrives and is eased out of the van, then rolled undercover.

Where it sits.

While the creative Maestro has a think and I reassure myself that it is a good plan to support these ideas.

Then the most extraordinary thing happens… musical notes starting floating around the site. Incredibly (to me at least) these notes form tunes, pieces of music, snippets from overtures to basics like ‘chopsticks’.

Randomly people are making their way to the piano and just tinkling.

I’m sat trying to write a report to support keeping somebody out of prison, accompanied by a clunky ‘Let it Be’.

This is just inspirational and in complete contrast to the criminal justice system (CJS) which, it seems to me, has reached a state of collapse rather than just creaking at the seams.

We are now regularly working with people who are the consequences of the attitudes and swingeing cuts of the last decades…

They need support not punishment.

People are noticeably getting caught up in the CJS as community support vanishes. A crumbling CJS is increasingly becoming the last alternative…

  • Young men regularly appear at LandWorks, absolute creations of the mess that is now the care system… they are simply unable to cope but expected to do so.
  • Others who feel like misfits struggling with their sexuality.
  • People whose mental health is very poor, they are ill and not necessarily criminal!
  • Alcoholics and drug addicts, need help and support, not ostracisation.
  • People who have just fallen through the welfare net because the holes have become so large.
  • And as if we need proof about how bad it is…  so many bodies carrying the scars of self-harm.

So yes, we really do need your support…

On Friday August the 19th we are having a supporters’ event, 10am until midday at LandWorks. Come and see what we are doing, potentially play a tune on the piano!

And/or you could support us by sponsoring Ted (Chair of trustees) and his wife Hilary on their 100km walk this weekend. Every pound is match funded up to £5K (thank you to everyone who has sponsored them so far).

And/or you could join us for lunch as we are inviting visitors to join us for lunch again.


PS Invites to the Supporters’ Day will be sent out at the start of next month – please look out for the invite and there’s no need to do anything before then to book your place!

9th June 2022