The photographs and narratives used in this blog have been uploaded by the lead researcher on the PeN project. She is working with prisoners and ex-offenders (referred to as trainees) who work at LandWorks. Most trainees are released on temporary licence form the local prison, with others referred through the local Offender Management/Probation teams.

Those ‘released on temporary licence’ (up to a maximum of 6) attend from the resettlement wing of the local prison in preparation for release, every day from 8:45 am, returning to prison by 5:00pm. Those on a community licence attend for a minimum of 1 day per week depending on their needs. There could be a maximum of 12 trainees registered at any one time, though they are not usually all on site at once.

LandWorks offers trainees the opportunity to develop a bespoke resettlement plan that covers specific training and skills, alongside a broad range of confidence building activities that might include:

  • Art – individual and communal community art projects on site.
  • Community Lunch – visitors book in to have lunch with staff and trainees on site 3 days/week.
  • Construction – new training centre constructed on site with funding from the Big Lottery, incorporating all associated building skills.
  • Cooking – trainees cook lunch for everyone (average 14 people) one-to-one on a rota basis with a volunteer 3 days/week.
  • Food activities – bread making, chutney, marmalade, mince pies and other home baked products made on site and sold at the gate.
  • Gardening – design and build of garden spaces, including pond work, decking, patio laying and growing flowers.
  • Green woodworking – manufacture of greenwood products for sale, notably chairs and stools.
  • Market Garden – salad and vegetable growing with sales of produce direct to the public, local restaurants and other food outlets.
  • Landscaping – continuous landscaping of what was once a derelict quarry, alongside activities on the wider estate.
  • Poultry – hens kept on site and eggs sold at the gate.
  • Woodworking – manufacture of a range of wood products for sale such as: egg cups, chopping boards, rolling pins, candle holders, bird houses and mirrors sold at the gate, alongside larger items tables and benches made to order.

There are two aims of the Photographic e(lectronic) Narrative (PeN) project, which is part of an Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) mid-career fellowship. To share photographs and narratives created by trainees and to engage supporters and the wider community with their desistance journey. No identifying photographs are used, all participants have pseudonyms and the lead researcher is responsible for posts.