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 7,000 entries a year – inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work towards positive achievements 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

Koestler Host at the RE:FORM Art By Offenders, Secure Patients And Detainees Exhibition, Southbank Centre, 2015

Jobs & volunteering

Current opportunities:

> arts team volunteers

> social media and website volunteer

> volunteer arts mentors for ex-prisoners

 


Arts Team Volunteers

Our Arts Team is always on the look-out for enthusiastic and rigorous volunteers to assist with the processing of thousands of entries to the Koestler Awards.

The Trust runs annual awards that structure our team’s calendar, meaning that our responsibilities change throughout the year. The Arts Team process entries (beginning in March), facilitate judging, write feedback, curate and install exhibitions, run events and finally return artworks to the entrants (November to March). Volunteers will have an opportunity to experience numerous different roles and activities depending on the period that they spend with us. Our main project at the moment is returning artworks received in the 2018 Awards cycle, alongside a smaller amount of tasks preparing work (at our base in London) for our Kent and Sussex show at Turner Contemporary in 2019.

We need volunteers who can work independently and can follow our procedures to process the entries efficiently and reliably. Volunteers will gain experience in a dynamic team, getting a privileged behind-the-scenes look at the exciting and diverse range of writing, music, fine art and design pieces we receive. They will also gain an insight into the running of a small prestigious arts organisation.

Ideally, volunteers would be able to commit to a period of 3 months, usually 1 – 3 days a week (weekdays). However, volunteers are a highly valued part of our team and we will try to accommodate those with less availability. We will reimburse travel expenses within London.

Skills and experience needed:
• Accuracy – you need to sustain accuracy while logging large volumes of work at a time.
• Physical dexterity – to handle fragile artwork in many shapes and sizes following health and safety procedures.
• Commitment to the Koestler Trust’s policies such as health & safety, confidentiality, and equal opportunities.
• An interest in one or several of the art forms represented in the Trust’s work – an interest in the work will keep things lively for you.
• Support for the aims of the Koestler Trust – we want our volunteers to get as involved as they can in our work and to enjoy promoting participation in the arts by all offenders, secure patients and detainees.

What to do next…

If you are interested in this voluntary role please complete the Volunteer Application Form (.doc) and email or post it with a brief covering letter, outlining your interest in the role and availability as well as your CV to MAnstis@koestlertrust.org.uk or Matt Anstis, Koestler Trust, 168a Du Cane Rd, London W12 0TX. Please note that we aim to respond to all applications within 4 weeks. We look forward to hearing from you.



Social Media and Website Volunteer

We are looking for a Social Media and Website Volunteer to help us spread the word about our work championing the arts in prisons and other secure settings.

Based at the Koestler Arts Centre outside HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs in East Acton, and working alongside the Koestler Trust team, the post would require a commitment of one day a week (10am – 4pm). We strongly value the contribution of our volunteers, and we will work with you to identify your interests and how your volunteering could contribute to achieving your longer term plans.

As Social Media and Website Volunteer, you will help develop and co-ordinate our social media presence and promote the great work we do across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and online. You will be responsible for creating exciting and innovative social media content, linking to our website and developing new ways to raise our profile, such as video case studies.

You may be a social media professional wanting to volunteer for a good cause, or you may be looking for an opportunity to develop your digital skills as well as making a real difference to a small charity. We look forward to hearing from you!

Desired Skills and Experience:
• Accuracy and attention to detail.
• Experience using social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Hootsuite.
• Experience with word press and simple website updates. Experience with google analytics and evaluative skills would be very welcome.
• Support for the aims of the Koestler Trust.
• Commitment to the Koestler Trust’s policies such as health & safety, confidentiality, and equal opportunities.

The post will involve:
• Writing and preparing content for our social media profiles, and editing images to go along with them.
• Helping us implement a digital strategy to raise our online and social profile.
• Sharing images of artworks entered into the Koestler Awards to celebrate the breadth and variety of work being created in prisons and other secure settings.
• Sharing stories in daily posts about our impact with comments from Award entrants, artists in our mentoring programme, exhibition curators or our ex-prisoner exhibition hosts.
• Researching and creating a digital media calendar for relevant events that tie in to arts in the criminal justice sector.
• Creating videos to explain the annual cycle of the Koestler Awards, to share music and written work by our entrants and to showcase our exhibitions.

If you are interested in this voluntary role please complete the Volunteer Application Form (.doc) and send it with a brief covering letter outlining your interest in the role and availability and your CV to fallen@koestlertrust.org.uk or Flora Allen, Koestler Trust, 168a Du Cane Rd, London W12 0TX. Please note that we aim to respond to all applications within 2 weeks. We look forward to hearing from you.

Deadline: 9am Monday 25 February 2019


Volunteer Arts Mentors for Ex-Prisoners

We are looking for artists, creative writers, musicians, and arts industry professionals, to help support our mentoring scheme. We are particularly interested in hearing from applicants based in the North of England and the Midlands.

The Koestler Trust is the UK’s leading prison arts charity. We’ve been awarding, exhibiting, selling, and championing art by prisoners, secure patients & immigration detainees for over 50 years.

Through our arts mentoring programme, The Koestler Trust identifies and supports prisoners with talent and enthusiasm, helping them to harness their creativity in a way which can make a positive difference to their resettlement.

Mentors work one-to-one with ex-offenders, offering between 7 and 10 mentoring sessions over a 12-month period. We provide full training and support, but the role is largely an autonomous one and we are looking for mentors who can bring their own energy and expertise to the role.

Applications from ex-offenders are positively encouraged.

We accept applications for this role on a rolling basis.

Read: 
> mentoring – frequently asked questions
> mentoring – person specification
> mentoring – project information

Complete and return:
> koestler mentor application form