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

Making a complaint

If you’ve made an enquiry and received a response from us which you’re not happy with, or in the event that you received no response after 30 working days, please follow our complaints procedure to make sure we can deal with your case effectively.


Stage 1

In the first instance, the complaint should be made to the person dealing with your case as they are in the best place to resolve it. If you don’t know who this is please contact our reception on 020 8740 0333 or You can call us or write to us to make your complaint.

Make sure you:

  • include as much detail as you can about the issue
  • let us know why you feel your initial enquiry was not dealt with satisfactorily
  • tell us what you think should happen to resolve the complaint
  • clearly give us your current contact details. If you’re in prison, you must give us your prison number


Stage 2

If you feel the above staff member has failed to deal with your case effectively, or your complaint is about that member of staff, please address your complaint to one of the appropriate Directors, listed below:

Fiona Curran – Director of Arts
regarding Koestler Awards administration, exhibitions, artwork sales and artwork feedback.

Sarah Mathève – Director of Outreach and Involvement
regarding mentoring and scholarships, family days, establishment visits, exhibition tours and hosts.

They can be reached on 020 8740 0333 or the Koestler Trust’s postal address.


Stage 3

If within a further 20 working days you have received no response, are not satisfied with the response, or your complaint is about one of the Directors. Please contact our chief executive, Sally Taylor staylor(at) by email or post.


Stage 4

In extraordinary circumstances, where you feel your complaint has not been dealt with after following the complaints procedure, or is about our Chief Executive, you may address your complaint to our trustees. To do this, please put your complaint into a letter and post it to:

‘The Trustees’
Koestler Trust
Koestler Arts Centre
168A Du Cane Rd
W12 0TX

The decision taken at this stage is final, unless the Board decides it is appropriate to seek external assistance with resolution.


External stage

The complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at any stage. Information about the kind of complaints the Commission can involve itself in can be found on their website.


Important information – enquiries and complaints

  • If you don’t adhere to the Enquiries and Complaints procedure steps in order, we will re-route your complaint to the appropriate staff member, as detailed above.
  • The details of all enquiries and complaints will be kept confidential. However we reserve the right to discuss your complaint with relevant staff in establishments or internally, probation etc., or with appropriate case workers, where we deem it appropriate for us to do so to resolve the issue.
  • Please submit your enquiry or complaint in a timely manner. We’ll be unable to resolve your case if it is regarding work entered more than 18 months ago.
  • The Koestler Trust doesn’t have storage space available. Therefore, all visual artwork which we’ve been unable to return to artists will be disposed of 12 months from receipt. As noted in the entry guidelines, we do not return non-visual entries.

Artwork purchased at our exhibitions must be collected within 3 months of the exhibition closing or will be disposed of/resold.