Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The Koestler Awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

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Category Archive: Journey to the Jazz Festival

  • The Spirit of Jazz

    Wow, what have I just witnessed? That was amazing! Member of ‘The Ensemble’ from HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs We are still elated after the EFG London Jazz Festival concert at HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs last week. This sold-out show was the first ever jazz festival event inside a prison, and saw a group of performers […]


  • Water, Roots, Freedom, Chaos

    Our workshop sessions in HMP Wormwood Scrubs are now well underway ahead of the EFG London Jazz Festival concert inside the prison chapel. The men will be performing a 20 minute set and, since we last posted, we’re delighted to say that 3 new songs have emerged! Read below to find out how these pieces […]


  • Opening Notes

    After months of preparations there has been one very important element missing from our EFG London Jazz Festival project until now: the music! On Wednesday 6th November, we were pleased to finally start making some noise, with our first workshop session inside HMP Wormwood Scrubs. Even with all the planning in the world, projects like […]