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High Sheriff Visits HMP Wandsworth

High Sheriff Visits HMP Wandsworth

High Sheriff, Andrew Morgan visited HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday 23rd September 2009. The visit was a direct request to see the Education and Training provision in our Prisons, although Andrew has visited other Prisons in London, this had not been with a particular education/training focus.

Andrew met with the newly appointed Governor – Dave Taylor and was briefed on the current priorities and issues facing HMP Wandsworth.

There was then a tour of KCC‘s Education and Training provision. This included the Horticultural provision, where we embed skills for life, the Kawasaki motor cycle workshop and construction workshops – which are available to both the main Prison and the vulnerable prison unit.

Next en-route was the only remaining textile workshop, which employs at least four prisoners to produce soft furnishings for commissions and identified projects. This work is currently being expanded and recent commissions include HRH The Prince of Wales and the House of Lords. We also looked at the induction centre and the Cisco IT suite.

This was followed by lunch with a question and answer session with staff, where a number of opportunities for further training were discussed. In the afternoon, Andrew visited KCC’s education provision in the porta-cabins which included Art and ESOL which the High Sheriff took a great interest in. The newly refurbished space for the Barbering course was next on the schedule and only time prevented him having a haircut!

We also visited the Onslow training centre where several prisoners have qualified through the RNIB as brail transcribers and are currently producing a number of educational texts for distribution. The final stop was Radio Wanno, where KCC deliver a range of provision and Andrew was interviewed for broadcasting on air the following day. Andrew has also committed to come to Wandsworth to produce a radio play with the inmates – this will be written and acted by the inmates and will be the subject of a competition to identify the successful play to be directed by Andrew.

The High Sheriff commented that the atmosphere was really positive and partnership working between KCC & HMP and real co-operation from all staff was really apparent. He felt we were really making a difference and encouraging Prisoners to take part in constructive and useful activities which from those he spoke to were going to take forward upon release.