July 2023 Main Meeting – Living in Styal

The topic for our July meeting was’ Living in Styal’ and the speaker was Ed Tarry, Community Engagement officer for Styal Women’s Prison. He has won awards for the work he does in ‘Building Bridges, Changing Lives’.

Ed started by talking about the prison, its population, and the activities offered. He explained the challenges presented by significant numbers of women who have multiple problems including mental health and drug issues, abusive backgrounds and low self esteem. Ed’s job is to oversee some of the prisoner’s activities specifically designed to build skills and self confidence.

Ed talked about about 2 significant initiatives at Styal – the ‘fine dining’ restaurant Clink and the Recycling Lives project. Both of these provided real work experience and responsibilities and have extremely good outcomes in helping prisoners into work as they leave the prison. He was also clearly very proud of the entries from the prison gardening team which have won medals at the Cheshire Show on a regular basis.

After refreshments Melanie and Susan updated us on the many events and competitions planned over the next month or so.

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