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Origami Inside

by Michael Ford last modified 03 Jul, 2021 12:18 AM

Bishop Nicholas' wife Helen is officially retired, but has kept busy making origami - which has become far more than a hobby.

Origami Inside

Helen Holtam making doves

Origami Inside is a project teaching prisoners the art of origami. Helen started it in 2017 in HMP Erlestoke and today, inmates create origami for greetings cards as well as stand-alone sculptures.

Helen says:

"Learning origami is both creative and therapeutic. It requires concentration and there are endless patterns to master. One of our makers said, ‘I’ve been in prison for 14 years and never until today have I forgotten where I am for a whole morning’.

"There are virtually no costs for running this project – people donate their time and materials. We use plain and coloured paper and photocopy designs on to them such as musical scores and maps that are out of copyright. Paper can be torn into shape for the sculptures.

"For the cards, the inmates cut precise squares of different sizes on the guillotine in class which they use to work on the rest of the week.

"All profits earned from the sale of the cards and sculptures will be used to help towards the rehabilitation of prisoners.

"Please buy some!"

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