Making it Up at HMP Wormwood Scrubs

Over the years we have supported many projects and events at HMP Wormwood Scrubs, and this month we saw fathers taking part in our special family reading project, Making It Up, which took place on 25th July in the chapel of the prison.

The aim of the project was to increase the fathers’ confidence in sharing books with their children.   The impact of family contact for both prisoners and their families is essential in aiding rehabilitation.

Leading up to a family visit day, fathers took part in workshops where they learnt about the importance of reading with their children, different types of stories, and created their own storybook for their children.

It was great to hear comments about the workshops from the men who took part:

“Could have written more…Something for [my child] to take back. Really good.”

“Shows I need to sit down and read more to my kids. Good to give to the kids and they’ll enjoy it.”

On the day, families who came into the prison watched and listened to author and illustrator Chris Riddell as he sketched and read out loud from his new book, Once Upon a Wild Wood.


A sketch made by Chris Riddell on the day

Children and fathers made books









Families were given blank storybooks (exactly the same as the ones their fathers used) to create their own stories, helped by their fathers.

Feedback from the families strongly suggested that Making it Up had a significant impact on family interaction and led to reading on both sides.

A huge thank you to all the staff at the prison, the wonderful Chris Riddell for his time and energy on this project, and to David Kendall, who ran the workshops.


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