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.

Read more about us

  • Stir Supper Club

Cherries + Flowers, HM Prison Dumfries, Bronze Award for Pastel, 2015

Stir Supper Club

A month-long art display at Stir, Woolwich.

Display at Stir, Woolwich
Display at Stir, Woolwich

We’ve partnered up with social enterprise Stir for an art display at their café in Woolwich. We have curated a selection of work from recent Koestler Awards and worked with Stir to match art with their wonderful space. The display opened on 27th February 2020 with a supper club at talk and will run for a month until the end of April.

Stir is a social enterprise café in the heart of Woolwich. It provides real life experience in hospitality for students going through their Recovery College, and much of the produce served is grown on their local allotment. Their motto is Good | Mood | Food – eating and being well. They put on regular events to engage their local community.