In October 2017 Weston College took on the contract for delivery of the Library at HMP Guys Marsh and immediately set about working with our partners to rebrand and relaunch the resource. Renamed the Library and Learning Resource Centre, Weston have invested in the books, resources and events to make this area a truly desirable location for prisoners to come to learn, relax and meet.
A central point for distance learning and for our Creative Writing and Book Clubs, the LLRC has also become a focal point to promote Literacy and Numeracy with learners and mentors engaging and promoting the Reading Ahead Challenge and 3/5 Maths Challenge to all attendees. Monthly themed events have also added to the buzz around the LLRC with the first of these, themed on Loss, a hugely moving and celebratory event where learners had the chance to tell and explore their stories.
Following this we have continued to establish outstanding opportunities for learners to develop their cultural awareness with events around Black History, Month Traveller Awareness and LGBTQ+. With all prisoners now getting access to the LLRC it was really exciting to relaunch the facilities in January 2018 with our New Beginnings competition with short stories, poems and guest appearances. Outside speakers and authors David Kendall and Simon Tyler came to help host the relaunch day and tell learners about the improtance of language on them. The week of events continued with more guest authors, workshops and new learning opportunities, concluding with an award ceremony for learners who had completed workshops and an opportunity to review some of the excellent work produced. Click here to see Rachel Billington’s review of the closing events in Inside Times.