Prisoners to help make bat or bird boxes

Prisoners in Group 4-run jails may soon be helping to make BOB (bat or bird) boxes, thanks to a contract with Merseyside's Savio Salesian College that is expected to be signed soon.

Savio teacher and BOB box co-ordinator Stephen Burrowes explained that the college was struggling to supply boxes because of increased demand. The agreement would see prisoners producing the boxes for buyers as part of their programmes of rehabilitation.

Burrowes said: "We have only been going for two years but we just can't keep up with demand. We would be slave drivers if we expected the kids to keep up."

He said he hoped the agreement with Group 4 will provide prisoners with an educational, rewarding and productive experience. Garden centres, nursing homes and Mersey Rail are some of the customers placing orders for the boxes, with Mersey Rail ordering five for each of its 50 stations. Knowsley Safari Park has already fitted a number of boxes around its reserve.

Burrowes and students at the college invented the BOB boxes, which were praised by the Bat Conservation Trust, in a collaborative project. The boxes have also supplied as gifts to the Queen, Prince Philip, David Cameron and Gordon Brown.

Burrowes explained: "The boxes have helped our gifted and talented pupils and those with special educational needs to develop a wide range of skills. The project has been an all-round rewarding experience and a great success."


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