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Varied programme of activities at The Lobster Pot

Wednesday, May 31st 2017 - Jon Cook

The Lobster Pot (Day Centre for the over 50s at HMP Leyhill run by RECOOP) was delighted to have Mel Pritchard (Success Coach & Trainer - Mental Health First Aid Instructor: Adult & 'Life'  - ) run a session at the Lobster Pot covering :

  • Short guided meditation
  • What causes stress and how the brain works (the stress bucket - and exercise to unload your stresses on paper)
  • What meditation is (including a quick verbal quiz)
  • The benefits
  • Mindfulness with sweets
  • How you can apply mindfulness in daily life (with hand-out to take away)

 All who attended thoroughly enjoyed the session and took away some useful tools to help their journey through the prison system. 

We have been lucky enough to have been running a group at the Lobster Pot teaching men to knit & crochet blankets for dogs & birds.  This has been run in conjunction with a senior staff member at the prison. 

 Knitting can benefit our men’s health in many ways:

  • According to some studies, the pastime can have a beneficial effect on health and help to tackle stress and depression. 
  • "There's promising evidence coming out to support what a lot of crafters have known anecdotally for quite some time," says Catherine Carey, a clinical neuropsychologist. "And that's that creating - whether it be through art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography, cake decorating - is beneficial to us in a number of important ways."
  • Knitting has been named a "natural anti-depressant" as crafters receive a surge of dopamine while their hands work.  One study of more than 3,500 knitters, showed 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting.
  • Knitting stimulates many different areas of the brain including memory and attention span, while involving your visuospatial processing, creative side and problem-solving abilities - therefore the pastime could also help protect your brain against ageing.   

The group at HMP Leyhill has gone from strength to strength and more staff members are now involved.


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Monday, February 3rd 2020
Back in July 2019, the Justice Committee launched an inquiry into the ageing prison population which would examine the challenges older prisoners face and the services they need, including the adequacy of accommodation, purposeful activity, provision of he...
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