Sight in Differing Lights


Dear Bruce,

Thank you for the visit yesterday from the Team.  It was an excellent opportunity for the men.  I know that they all enjoyed what they did from the broad smiles at the end and the number who went out of their way to thank me for organising it - as if I had anything to do with it.

I am sorry that operational reasons beyond my control led to an abrupt halt some fifteen minutes before the intended close time.  I would like to record that staff who were participating said that they had no idea that it was earlier than you had expected because you closed the proceedings so beautifully that no-one was left dangling.  That is further borne out by a prisoner who actually remarked to me on his way out how much your closing remarks helped him and sealed his experience.

The men who came were picked because they participate in creative writing classes, music classes or key skills communication classes.  They were not necessarily our best behaved or most co-operative men.  Your event enabled teaching staff to see some of them in quite a different light.

The officers on duty yesterday have come today to say how much they enjoyed it from observing outside the door.  They recognised a good, positive, well-controlled event and felt their afternoon had been well spent.

Thank you for the time and effort you all put into the event on the day, but also fro the thought and preparation put in.  It made an outstanding opportunity for men to learn about language and about themselves at the same time.  I would heartily recommend you to any colleagues whom you wish to approach, and would certainly ask if a second visit to us might be possible.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Matthews

Education Manager
HMP Belmarsh