James’ story
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James spent his childhood in care due to parental breakdown. He is from a forces family and spent time in the Navy and RAF.

Later, whilst in prison on a long term sentence, James turned to art as a way to manage his mental health. Over time, his skills developed and he gained qualifications in art and design. He has combined this with business studies courses, to help him plan for how to make a successful business from his creative work.

He has won two prestigious Koestler art awards for painting and has certificates in creative writing. He has now sold art pieces and has created artwork for a famous musician’s album cover. With a clear artistic talent and a desire to create a business from his abilities, he approached the Hardman Trust for support.

We issued him the funds for art materials and a laptop, enabling him to set his business up when released. James is approaching retirement age and will find it challenging to find ‘traditional’ employment with a long gap in his CV at this stage in his career, however with his artistic talents and business mindset he is already showing some success with his art business.

James is now back at home in Suffolk, but he is keen to volunteer his time back in prison to help other people learn how to develop their artistic skills too.

Practical and financial support

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Together we can create a future where everyone can achieve their potential within and beyond prison. Can you help?