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The Power of the Pen

Power of the pen event cover art

In a year when we found ourselves stuck indoors, many of us have taken up new hobbies and pastimes – doing yoga and dancing in front of a computer screen, baking sourdough bread, talking to friends and family via apps – the list goes on.

But, while lockdown has been compared to a prison sentence, the reality of being locked up in a cell for 23 hours a day  is a stark contrast to quarantine. More often than not, people in prison have no access to technology, share a cell and struggle to keep in touch with family and friends. And imagine having to go to the loo in front of your cell mate because there’s no door. I don’t know about you, but I like to poo in private.

Despite harsh living conditions, many people in prison use their time inside to build better futures, for themselves and others. While some of us still haven’t mastered making fabulous sourdough loaves (and that’s okay), creative people serving prison sentences continue to produce amazing art and wonderful writing. Their work can, and does, change lives.

Our Assembly 15th November, is entitled ‘The Power of the Pen.’ Speaker L J Flanders and poet David Breakspear are shining examples of people who have used their pens to break away from the stereotype of a ‘prisoner’ and helped others do the same.

L J devised his bodyweight training guide Cell Workout from his prison cell. It’s accessible to anyone who wants to get fit in a small space using no specialist equipment. Since leaving prison, Cell Workout has grown from a self-published book to a movement for fitness beyond the prison walls.

David Breakspear is an inspiration for many. Since leaving prison he has given voice to issues of accessing education in prison, written a book and shared his poetry with the world.

Join us on Sunday 15th November 11am on Zoom to be inspired by LJ and David. As ever, there will be sing-along songs, community notices and a member of the community will tell us about something amazing they’re doing to change lives.

Bring tea & biscuits. Bring friends and family. Bring all the pets and cuddly toys.

Post by Anj