Prisoners at Maghaberry have utilised their gardening and baking skills to raise £4,500 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
The money was collected through the sale of floral hanging baskets, planters and garden furniture made by prisoners in the prison gardens, and tray-bakes created in the prison kitchen and sold to staff.
Presenting a cheque for £4,500 to Donaghadee RNLI, Maghaberry Prison Governor David Savage said: “This is just the latest in a long line of charity fund-raising efforts by those in our care at Maghaberry. Prisoners previously raised funding for the Air Ambulance charity, and we’re pleased to continue this theme of supporting voluntary emergency services with a fantastic effort for the RNLI.”
In the early summer months, and under the supervision of Horticulture Officer James Carson, the prisoners from Mourne House at Maghaberry made dozens of hanging baskets, garden planters and garden furniture, all of which were sold. And in the prison kitchen prisoners demonstrated their baking skills creating quite a variety of tray bakes which brought in considerable donations from prison staff.
Governor Savage added: “I’ve often said Maghaberry Prison is part of the community and not apart from it, and through purposeful activity each day we help those in our care who will eventually return to the community.
“On a daily basis prison staff challenge and support some of the most complex, vulnerable and sometimes dangerous members of our society with patience and compassion. They are highly committed public servants and it is important to highlight the work they do with those in our care on behalf of our community.”
Chair of the RNLI Fundraising Team at Donaghadee, Evelyn Bennett, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this generous donation from Maghaberry Prison Governor David Savage. We can’t express our thanks enough to the prisoners who through their rehabilitation work have raised this money for our charity. The money will be used to further our work ‘saving lives at sea’.”