Published: 13/01/2018 07:00 - Updated: 11/01/2018 12:59

Guitars will benefit city prisoners

Written byIain Ramage

PRISONERS in Inverness will have the chance to discover their musical abilities thanks to a set of refurbished and retuned guitars.

The Rotary Club of Inverness Culloden contacted the city’s prison to see if members could help the establishment in any way to benefit the people in its care.

The club’s community chairman James Milton said a suggestion was put forward that the prison’s stock of 11 guitars, which were not serviceable, could be repaired.

"The rotary club accepted the proposal and was delighted to give assistance, this being part of its community and service section," Mr Milton said.

"The community service section encourages rotary clubs to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest."

Mr Milton, who works within the prison’s health centre, and fellow rotarian John Harrison organised the collection of the instruments.

The guitars were subsequently dispatched to a local music shop to be restrung and refurbished.

In addition to the 11 guitars, the club also bought and donated a further four guitars and cases bringing the total number of instruments to 15.

The guitars were presented to the prison’s deputy governor (acting) Willie Sweeney, offender outcomes manager Gary Goddard, approved activities officer Stephen Boyle and John who immediately went into song after being presented with one of the instruments.

Mr Sweeney said he wished to convey his sincere thanks and gratitude to the Rotary Club Inverness Culloden for the kind gesture and donation shown towards HM Prison  Inverness.

He said ultimately individuals in the prison would benefit from the club’s kind donation.

Mr Sweeney also revealed the prison was involved in a partnership project with Feis Rois which promotes Gaelic culture and Vox Liminis which helps with rehabilitation within Scotland’s criminal justice system.

Both organise musical interaction groups which are well attended by individuals in the  prison’s care.

Mr Sweeney said the donation and refurbishment of the guitars would ensure a maximum attendance at both events.

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