About us Who we are Margaret Carey Margaret Carey Margaret Carey, our Patron Margaret Carey founded the Inside Out Trust in 1994, pioneering work in restorative justice and developing the basic business model that we now follow. We named our new charity after her because we share her values that people who have done wrong should be given the opportunity to make amends by doing useful work that helps other people. They develop an understanding that there are many communities which have needs which they can fulfil, even though they are in prison. Projects bring together people in the community who donate unwanted items, with others who need such things. The prison workers provide the link between these two communities and gain great satisfaction from knowing that they are doing good as well as developing skills which will help them in their future lives. Here’s what she says about herself: I’ve spent over 30 years doing work that aims to improve the lives of marginalised people, initially in overseas development and then within the criminal justice system. As Overseas Manager for Sightsavers (formerly the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind), I travelled extensively in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean to work with partner organisations in setting up eye care, education and rehabilitation programmes. So much of what we take for granted in the West is simply not available. For example, in Malawi, a scheme to provide training and then employment for blind women, as tailors in their villages, wasn’t viable without the equipment they needed, in the form of manual sewing machines. I had a thought! How many people have an old sewing machine in a cupboard or loft somewhere, too good to throw away, but actually never used again? Why not ask? We did a broadcast appeal on local radio and were offered about 400 machines, but nearly all of them needed repair and a degree of refurbishment. I had another thought! As a magistrate I had visited my local prison and knew that there were unused workshops and a great many men with little to do all day. The Governor was enthusiastic and agreed to a pilot project, with an instructor who already had mechanical skills offering to run it. It worked so well that there was clearly a pathway forward. The public were generous, the prisoners were willing, and the need for good mechanical equipment in poor countries was unlimited: three interconnected groups in a mutually beneficial relationship. On this basis, I asked three local people to help me set up a charity to build on this pilot project. The Inside Out Trust was based on restorative justice principles which allowed people in prison to do meaningful work which would clearly help other people with whom they could identify, and whom they could see were, in many ways, worse off than themselves. The projects proliferated over the years with projects to refurbish anything that could be useful to people in need. Lions and Rotary Clubs throughout the country willingly collected unwanted items for the projects. Other projects included art for hospitals and care homes, braille for blind readers, manual typewriters for schools, spectacles for people with poor vision, and much more. It was very clear that people in prison gained self-esteem from undertaking work which benefited someone else and also improved their skills and employability for when they were released. The award of a certificate for a job well done was often the first time he had been thanked for anything. I worked with other charities within the sector including chairing the Board of the Restorative Justice Consortium (now Council). I was part of the team that set up Circles UK to establish and formalise the work of circles of support and accountability in England and Wales. I currently chair the board of Sussex Pathways, a charity providing ‘through the gate’ services to men returning from prison to live in Sussex, and also running restorative justice programmes. Alongside this, I served for seven years as an Independent Member of the Parole Board; and for nearly 25 years as a magistrate. Outside the criminal justice system, I’ve served as a churchwarden in our parish church which involves being a trustee of several community charities. I sing alto in the church choir, possibly the only activity shared by people between the ages of 8 and 88! I am a trustee of our local Hurst Festival, of which I was a founder in 2003. I’m a member of a poetry group, write a column for our local paper, organise concerts, and altogether have a wonderfully varied life. I’ve always lived in Mid Sussex and can’t imagine being out of sight of the South Downs for very long. My husband, Kevin, is a social entrepreneur, preacher, writer, singer, and chaired the Board of the RNIB, a charity on a somewhat larger scale than any of mine! We have two children, seven grandchildren and now great grandchildren. David Brown was the Regional Coordinator for the North of England until the Inside Out Trust ceased operation. The establishment of MCF is hugely to his credit and I am immensely proud to be associated with it. It is always a pleasure and a privilege to visit its projects, both inside prisons and in the community and to see the dedication and commitment of the men in the projects and the staff who support it. I warmly congratulate the trustees, staff, volunteers, and the prison workers and instructors who make its success possible.