At the end of July our award-winning prison programme RESTORE had an astonishing outcome.
Earlier this year we delivered RESTORE to a group of women prisoners at HMP Peterborough. The storyteller on the programme was Anne-Marie Cockburn, whose 15-year-old daughter, Martha, died in 2013 after taking half a gram of pure crystallised MDMA (ecstasy). Two of the women participating in RESTORE were so moved by what they heard that they asked the prison Governor if they could put on a fundraising event in the prison in memory of Martha and in support of Anne-Marie’s organisation, What Martha Did Next. Initially they called the event Martha’s Marathon. However on second thoughts (realising just how many times they would have to circle the gym) they decided to call it Martha’s Mile instead!
For four months the women worked energetically – printing t-shirts to sell, setting up knitting groups to make teddy bears and hearts (all adorned with the initial M), and baking cakes. With 52 women signed up, the run took place on Tuesday 26th July with Anne-Marie in attendance, along with RESTORE’s programme manager, Sandra Barefoot. Anne-Marie also donated 55 copies of her book, 5742 Days, with an official book signing taking place at the end of the run.
Prison staff were blown away by the women’s enthusiasm and indeed that between them they had managed to raise a stunning £800 for Anne-Marie’s charity.
The enthusiasm of the women was summed up by one woman: “My friend Lizzie returned to the wing after taking part in the RESTORE programme and was so touched by Anne-Marie’s story that I wanted to do something too.”