Latest work at HMP Coldingley

We recently began working with prisoners at HMP Coldingley, delivering two ‘R.E.A.D.Y’ programmes in our first week. 

R.E.A.D.Y. is a 2 day personal development programme aiming to help people reflect on their lives with an aim of leaving negativity and low self-esteem behind and moving forward to a positive future.

Below are some fantastic examples of prisoner’s work whilst on the programme, demonstrating how it is achieving its learning aims.


All of us find ways of surviving the world. One way of doing this is that we develop masks. These ‘mask’ the real us, maybe our personality, our fears, our emotions. Masks are fine if they help us and if we are aware of them. But they can become unhelpful or even destructive, particularly if we are not aware of how they impact on others or the negative consequences they have for us.

This exercise helps individuals review the masks they use.

maskThis group member created an “Iron Mask” saying he has learnt to suppress all emotion and feeling and he now “feels numb”. He described the negative impact this has had on his family relationships and the influence it has on his attitude in prison. He added he is concerned about what will happen when all the suppressed emotions are released and we discussed coping strategies and personal goals for him.

This Group member said his mask represented his “torn” feelings and “hidden personality”. He described one side of him being full of love, happiness and fun and the other being angry, moody, dark and tough. We discussed the impact this was having on him and the effects on his behaviour and interactions in prison.


Following a ‘guided imagery’ relaxation exercise, group members were asked to fix in their mind and image from the relaxation experience and then to paint it.

Most group members will paint something that is significant to them from the script that was read, others become more imaginative and personal with their paintings.

This picture was one of the latter. The group member said that he saw himself climbing the mountain away from his past and towards his future goals, however was aware his friends were at the bottom unhappy to see him succeeding and trying to tempt and pull him back down. We discussed the reality of this situation for him and was able to consider small goals and an action plan for him.

When the session finished he spoke to his officer and signed himself up for a CSCS course run in the prison.


Prisoner Feedback

Feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive.

  • 100% of prisoners rated their experience on the programme as “Excellent” and “More positive than expected”
  • 100% of prisoners felt this programme was the right way to tackle their behaviour
  • 9/10 Prisoners rated the course as “very useful” for helping them to understand their behaviours and conflicts, the other 1 rated the course “Useful”

“The environment was made easy to open up and talk. It was a comfortable and relaxed setting.”

“It helped me in that I had the chance to think about where I am in life and where I want to be, it was very useful to think about how I am realistically going to be able to get to where I want to be.”

“This needs to have permanent residency at HMP Coldingley.”


To find out more about work we do in prisons, please contact us.

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