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Young Arts | THE ARTS SOCIETY WEYBRIDGE (formerly Weybridge Decorative & Fine Arts Society)

Young Arts

A visit to Send Prison arranged by Val Shaw took place on 23rd October 2018. The artist we engaged, Sam Harvey, provided plenty of projects for 34 girls and boys, aged 5-16 years. There were four little ones (aged 2-4) who enjoyed finger painting with their mothers, and this time there were 6 babies (2 years and under)! The older children painted Tote bags. Photo frames were decorated, and stringing beads for arm bracelets were much enjoyed by the girls together with their mothers. Val reports that it was amazing how well behaved the children were, over quite a long day. Jackie Voake, Play Manager, thanked the Committee for its continued support and said the feedback she gets from the families is always very appreciative.

The previous visit to Send Prison took place on 10th April 2018 and was also organised by Val Shaw.

History: Started in 1973, The Arts Society Young Arts provides exciting opportunities for children and young people to expand their horizons through their involvement in creative arts activities. The aim is to inspire young people with a lasting enthusiasm for the arts and an awareness of our arts heritage and its conservation.

The Arts Society Weybridge supports Young Arts in Weybridge and local area by contributing to an arts activity for young people between the ages of 8 and 18.


In October 2009 The Arts Society Weybridge arranged for an artist, Sadie James, who is an MA graduate from Central St. Martins, to visit Send Women's Prison. She took a session at which visiting children of prisoners created paintings with their detained parent. The cost of the event was met by The Arts Society Weybridge. The occasion was a great success, and it was decided to repeat the event annually.

These photos show some of the items created by the children on 23rd October 2018


THE ARTS SOCIETY WEYBRIDGE YOUNG ARTS PROJECT:  HMP SEND

Since the foundation of The Arts Society Weybridge some seventeen years ago, a variety of Young Arts (YA) projects, mainly involving local schools, have been supported. In October 2009, however, we had the unique opportunity to come together with an organisation known as the “Send Family Link” and, by means of a YA grant, to provide for an art activity at HMP Send, a closed female prison with approximately 280 inmates situated just outside the village of Send, near Woking in Surrey.

On 2nd October 2017 the whole of the Send Family Link Charity was passed over to the Prison Advice and Care Trust ("PACT"), an independent UK charity that provides practical services for prisoners and prisoners' families. It is situated in the Visitor Centre immediately outside the prison gates.

Its primary objective is to help families maintain relationships during a prison sentence and to help reduce the emotional stress when a child visits its mother. They seek to make visits to prison a positive experience for children whilst at the same time enhancing the quality of visits for adults by giving them the opportunity to be with their children in a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. To this end, they organise special Family Day visits to HMP Send six times a year. Provision is made for children to share activities or play with the prisoner under the active encouragement and supervision of a dedicated team of PACT volunteers. On Family Visit Days, children arrive during the morning, some having travelled considerable distances to be with their mother. There are usually about 20 at any one time with an age range up to about 16 years old. The entire day is spent with their mothers but the main “play” activity, organised by PACT, takes place after lunch.


Enquiries about Young Arts can be sent by email to our Young Arts committee member, Val Shaw, at ya@theartssocietyweybridge.org.uk




See letter below from Send Family Link about the change of Send Family Link to PACT as of October 2017