Origami helping HMP Erlestoke inmates rehabilitate

Helen Holtam MBE began Origami classes in HMP Erlestoke in 2017, as part of 'Friends of Erlestoke prison' group. Helen from there created 'Origami inside', her website to sell the items the prisoners make. All profits earned from the sale of the cards and sculptures go towards the rehabilitation of prisoners. The Origami allows prisoners to be creative and engage in an activity which is seen as therapeutic. One maker said, ‘I’ve been in prison for 14 years and never until today have I forgotten where I am for a whole morning’.

Helen runs a Friday morning class in which she demonstrates simple patterns that inmates can replicate in their own time in their cells. Inmates have had their work displayed both in Salisbury Cathedral in 2018 and regularly in St Thomas' Christmas Tree festival.

Helen may be known to many Grapevine readers as she is also married to the previous Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam.

Helen was awarded with an MBE in this New Year's honours list for her services to the prisoners.

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