Prisoners at HMP Wandsworth are getting woolly hats for Christmas, thanks to their chaplains who have launched an initiative to collect one for every inmate.
The chaplains launched an initiative to collect 1,476 hats, one for every prisoner, in mid-November saying the prison is very cold and the central heating does not work very well.
Prisoners will wear the hats outside as they do not have coats for exercising in the yards and those with cells in the colder parts of the prison will also wear them to bed.
Quaker chaplain Liz Bridge said: “Most cells are akin to the North Pole!
“A woollen hat will be particularly helpful for the baldies, the oldies and those with cold cells – which is almost everyone in the prison.”
Bridge added she had known the prison run out of blankets and men sleep side by side to keep warm.
A Facebook group called ‘Hats for HMP Wandsworth‘ was set up by Paula Reynolds, for those wanting to help the initiative by knitting, buying or donating pre-loved woolly hats for prisoners.
Reynolds said: “People’s generosity has astounded me.
“Hand-made hats are so beautiful, you can really feel the time and care that has gone into making them.
“I’m sure the men will be really chuffed to receive them.”
The group has already collected around 500 hats which is a third of the way towards the target.
The hats can be knitted, bought, or pre-loved and in good condition but they must follow certain rules for safety.
The prison cannot accept black hats, peaked hats, hats with ear pieces, or hats with slogans.
But the chaplains are keen on lovely warm, colourful beanies or bobble hats.
Hats should be dropped off at or sent to: Visitors Centre Wandsworth Prison, 17 Heathfield Rd, London SW18 3HR.