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

Support Us

The Koestler Trust has no capital or endowment. We’re constantly working towards securing grants, donations, and revenue from sales to continue our work. Individuals and businesses play an important role in ensuring we can support people in the criminal justice system to participate in the arts and change their lives.

Regular giving and one-off donations

Whether it’s £5 a month or £500 a year, by making a regular donation to the Koestler Trust through a standing order, your gift will help us create strong financial foundations. The certainty of regular donations enables us to provide feedback, awards, mentoring and exhibition opportunities to thousands of offenders, secure patients and detainees each year.

Name an Award

Give a name to an Award in a category of your choice, and reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons. We’ll send you an image of the artwork granted your award, and if it is chosen for exhibition or publications it will be captioned with your award name. Every entrant receives a certificate, and the name of your award will also appear there, showing an offender that members of the public support their positive achievements.

Become a Friend

We would love it if you would consider supporting us by becoming a Friend of the Koestler Trust. Individual financial support is vital for the continuation of our work, and for a donation of £60 a year we will send you a Koestler Friends Gift Bag with a postcard collection, invitations to all our year-round events and exhibitions previews and our newsletter.

Other donations

If you’re particularly keen to support a certain element of our work or would like to discuss leaving the Koestler Trust money in your will, please get in touch.

Fundraise for us

Help get others excited about what we’re doing, and fundraise for us at the same time. Perhaps you’d like to run a marathon, give a concert, or hold a Koestler Trust evening for us.

To discuss supporting our work, please contact us on 020 8740 0333

Donation Details

Gift Aid *

I got involved as a Supporter because of a comment at a Koestler exhibition curated by Grayson Perry. A message from a prisoner said "It was the first time anyone had ever said I was good at anything and encouraged me". I remembered the encouragement I benefited from when struggling and it touched a chord.

People in secure institutions are, sadly, there to protect society as much as to help themselves, and I strongly believe that society needs to support them.

Koestler Supporter