Hearts and Birds cushion


In stock

Romantic thoughts, with a quirky feel added by the 'tattoo' motif. Designed by Karen Nicol.


Fine Cell Work was set up in 1997 by Lady Anne Tree. As a visitor to Holloway women's prison in the 1960s, she worked with two long-term prisoners on intricate needlepoint carpets which were subsequently sold as collectors' items in New York. She felt that the women who had put so much hard work into the pieces should be able to earn money from their work, and decided to establish an organisation in which prisoners could learn a skill to the highest level and be paid for their efforts. She settled on needlepoint because she was convinced that sewing was therapeutic: "It is meditative, a way of thinking, of taking stock."

After decades of lobbying the Home Office to change the law she finally achieved her goal. Working out of a bedsit in Bloomsbury, Fine Cell Work officially started in 1997.

Today, Fine Cell Work has 60 volunteers training over 400 prisoners in 29 prisons across England, Scotland and Wales. The work has been exhibited by the V&A , commissioned by English Heritage and sold to leading interior designers.

Buying something from Fine Cell Work puts something special in your hands, but it also delivers a benefit which no ordinary purchase does, as the quotations from prisoners who have worked on this project make clear.


"During what was definitely the most difficult time of my life, I found my time doing Fine Cell Work an essential source of calm, inspiration and challenge."

"I’ve been a member of FCW for just over 8 years now and it has been the best experience ever, I never knew how to stitch before and now I can’t go a day without doing some stitch work.
Before FCW I was a self-harmer with mental health problems and I didn’t care about anybody or anything, at times I didn’t even care about ever getting out then came along this group of ladies who wanted to help make a difference and I wanted to try something new. Once I got started I never wanted to stop, I loved it and loved getting letters back from people who had bought my work cause it showed it was all worthwhile."

"You have shown me that I have a creative side to me, that I didn’t know existed. And in exploring my creative side I have come to realise that there is hope for me yet as far as employment and living a crime free life goes. So thank you for everything you have done for me. And most of all for giving me “HOPE” for the future. It is really appreciated."