The art awards scheme for offenders, secure patients and detainees

We’re the UK’s best-known prison arts charity. We’ve been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 55 years.

Our awards receive over 8,000 entries a year – inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work for achievement and transform their lives. Our national exhibition attracts 20,000 visitors – showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings.

We have no endowment or capital – our work depends entirely on donations.

Read more about us

Wet Sunday, HM Prison Nottingham, First Koestler Award winner for Painting, 1962

How we’re funded

We currently receive a public sector grant from the National Offender Management Service of £75,000, about a tenth of our annual turnover and since 2015 this has been matched by a grant from Arts Council England as we became a National Portfolio Organisation. For the remainder, we rely on donations from individuals, businesses, trusts and foundations. We have no endowment, capital or reserves.

We couldn’t function without the extraordinary commitment and enthusiasm of staff across the establishments that enter the Koestler Awards. We’re especially grateful to Her Majesty’s Prison Service and the National Offender Management Service, which provide us with our premises next to HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs and help us distribute publicity, prizes and artworks across the criminal justice system.

We partner with prestigious arts venues across the country to make our ambitious exhibitions and events programmes possible. Recent collaborations include Southbank Centre, Glasgow Tramway, birmingham mac, Castlefield Gallery, Wales Millennium Centre, BALTIC, Bridlington Festival and the British Council (Venice Biennale).

We are grateful to Golden Squared Consulting for their support with communications.

Thank you to the following individuals and organisations who currently support the Koestler Trust with donations and grants, and to all those who wish to remain anonymous.

Major Supporters

  • Arts Council England
  • CCLA
  • Dawes Trust
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Hammersmith United Charities
  • Henry Smith Charity
  • Interserve Employee Foundation
  • Lloyds Bank Foundation
  • Monument Trust
  • National Offender Management Service
  • Partnerships in Care
  • Robertson Trust
  • Serco
  • Sodexo Justice Services
  • Triangle Trust
  • Unilink

Scholarship Supporters

  • Barrow Cadbury Trust
  • Bromley Trust
  • Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Trust
  • Monument Trust
  • MTC Novo
  • Catherine Norris
  • William Arthur Rudd Memorial Trust

Trusts, foundations, organisations & businesses

  • A B Charitable Trust
  • A M G & G Wyburd Trust
  • Alchemy Foundation
  • Artists’ Collecting Society
  • Arts Society Chiltern Hills Area
  • Arts Society Greater London Area
  • Arts Society Ayrshire
  • CD Stockwell Charitable Trust
  • Colston Educational Trust
  • Cottisford Charitable Trust
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
  • Doughty Street Chambers
  • Engaging Minds
  • Ericson Trust
  • Essex Community Foundation
  • Evan Cornish Foundation
  • Fitton Trust
  • Foundry Chambers
  • Fowler Smith and Jones Trust
  • G4S
  • Gilander Foundation
  • Hanley Trust
  • The Hiscox Foundation
  • Hochhauser Foundation
  • Honourable M L Astor’s 1969 Charity
  • Jacana Care Trust
  • Jessie Spencer Trust
  • Matthew Trust
  • Mila Charitable Organisation
  • New Scotland Yard
  • Odin Charitable Trust
  • Ofenheim Charitable Trust
  • Park Hill Charitable Trust
  • Paul Lunn-Rockliffe Charitable Trust
  • Pitt-Rivers Charitable Trust
  • Prisoners Abroad
  • Reece Thomas Watson Solicitors
  • Robert Gavron Charitable Trust
  • Royal Holloway University School of Law
  • Sir Charles Jessel Trust
  • Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund
  • Stoneybridge Trust
  • Taurus Foundation
  • T. S. Eliot Foundation
  • United Agents
  • Valentine Charitable Trust
  • Worshipful Company of Weavers
  • Worthing Quakers

Individuals

  • Janet Addison
  • Anna Allsop
  • James Anderson
  • Suzanne Ash
  • Amelia Asher
  • Shaun Attwood
  • Rosemary Bartholomew
  • Sarah Baxter
  • John Bentinck
  • Helen Bernhardt
  • Ben Birnberg
  • Charles Bland
  • Jocelyne Van Den Bossche
  • Clare Bowman
  • Sue Bradbury OBE
  • Joannah Brear
  • Tom & Gilly Brent
  • Anna Brooks
  • Mary Brown
  • Pat and Rod Brown
  • Pierce Brunt
  • Emma Buckmaster
  • Hilary Bulman
  • Julia Burden
  • Simon & Deborah Cane
  • Mr & Mrs Carlisle
  • John Chambers
  • Michael Chance
  • Adam Chapman
  • Katharine Cheney
  • Lady Gillian Chipperfield
  • Rupert Christiansen
  • Simon Clear
  • E A Collins
  • Sam Cooper
  • Richard Cormack
  • Anne Cornish
  • James Cox
  • Geoffrey Crossick
  • Jeanine Richards & Charlotte Cullinan
  • Fay Curtin
  • Henrietta Curtis
  • Judith Cuxson
  • Anna Dale-Harris
  • Eunice Danso
  • Jo David & Rachel House
  • Keith Davies
  • Mary Davis
  • Richard Deacon
  • Victoria Dickie
  • Frances Done
  • Matt Dudley
  • Robert Dufton
  • Sandy Dutczak
  • Andrea Edeleanu
  • Michael Edwards
  • Peter Damian Entwistle
  • Elizabeth Forster
  • Dan Francis
  • Norman Franklin
  • Henry Fraser
  • Elina Gibbons-Plowright
  • Pat & Bill Gordon
  • Roger Graef
  • Gavin Graham
  • J S Gray
  • Henry & Alison Grunwald
  • Caroline Hadley
  • Maggi Hambling
  • Louise Hayman
  • Eleanor Heine
  • Sidney Hiscox
  • Ian Holden
  • Patrick Holmes
  • Carlos Hood
  • Gillian Hope
  • Terry Houchin
  • Tessa Humphreys
  • Robert Innes
  • Richard & Penny Ireland
  • Rachel Iredale
  • Fanny Jacob
  • Gaskell & Jennifer Jacobs
  • Cherno Jagne
  • Catherine Johnson
  • Margaret Johnson
  • Ursula Jones
  • Annika Joy
  • Lady Keene
  • Joanna Kennedy
  • Antoine Khayat
  • William & Jane King
  • Philip King
  • Julia Krish
  • Mary Kuhn
  • Richard Lamberth
  • Nicola Lees
  • Theresa Lloyd
  • Andrea & Mark Long
  • Ursula Lucas
  • Angela Macfarlane
  • Simon Marsh
  • Carol Mather
  • Brendan McLoughlin
  • Andy McNeill
  • Helen Meixner
  • Sir Graham Melmoth
  • Caro Millington
  • Hilary Mitchell
  • Peter & Marian Moore
  • Paul & Sandra Monks
  • Caroline Morris
  • Dinah & Alan Moses
  • David Munro
  • Michael Newsum
  • George Nissen
  • Jennifer Oates
  • Jack O’Brien
  • Anita Ottaviani
  • Philippa Owen
  • Becky & Ian Palmer
  • Rachel Palmer
  • Jonathan Parkhouse
  • Malcom & Faye Payne
  • Geoffrey Peaker
  • Grayson Perry
  • Janet Peskin
  • Simon Pickard
  • John Plummer
  • Craig Raeside
  • Lord Ramsbotham
  • John Reiss
  • David Remfy
  • Andrew Ritchie
  • Tim Robertson
  • Julia Rogerson
  • Peter Roscoe
  • Jackie Roscoe
  • Jean Russell-Smith
  • David Salcedo
  • Dorothy Salmon
  • Beverly Samuel
  • Adrian Scrope
  • Jamie Sharpley
  • Dr Peter Selby
  • Naveed Sheikh
  • Frederick de Sibert
  • Rose Simpson
  • Susannah Simons
  • Adam Skinner
  • Gail Smart
  • Hayley Sothinathan
  • Diana Spiegelberg
  • Tom Stacey
  • Tina Crockett & Alison Stanley
  • Caroline Starling
  • Kitty Stidworthy
  • Stephen Stratton
  • Emma Streatfield
  • Anne Swallow
  • Amanda Taylor
  • Carolyn Taylor
  • Vincent Taverner
  • Eve Thompson
  • Judy Vaknin
  • Sam Verner
  • Andy Verschoyle
  • Jo Watters-Pawlowski
  • Robin & Margaret Weiss
  • Simon Wethered
  • David & Linda Whitehouse
  • Julia Whitworth
  • Alison Wilding
  • Katie Wille
  • Christine Wong
  • James Wood, QC
  • Dr Thomas Wynn
  • Sally Zimmerman
  • Carola Zogolovitch