Boston farm manager working with ‘high risk’ prisoners receives award from Princess Anne

A farm manager working with prisoners at North Sea Camp has received a national commendation for his work from Princess Anne.

Andrew Wright, of Boston, works with inmates at the Freiston Shore open prison to promote nature and caring for animals.

He has done so for almost two decades.

The award, presented by HRH Princess Anne at St James’ Palace in London, comes from the Butler Trust - which commended Andrew for what it called ‘his dedication and skill in sharing the redemptive power of nature and animal husbandry with the men under his tutelage and care’, producing ‘remarkable’ results’.

“It was a great honour and privilege,” said Andrew, 49. “Princess Anne was delightful and very informative as we talked about technology in farming and how she was looking forward to visiting NSC in the near future.”

Andrew says his work instils responsibility in the men by ‘allowing them to care for another creature’.

“It is very satisfying to see the men take their social responsibility so seriously and wish to continue with this after their release,” he added.

North Sea Camp Governor Michelle Quirke described Andrew as ‘one of the most modest people’ she has ever met, adding his work ‘provides the bedrock of North Sea Camp’s rehabilitative culture’.

Initial nominator and Andrew’s line manager Marcus Riley said the working farm delivers training to ‘high-risk long term prisoners’, many of whom ‘have been in custody for many years’.

“Most of these prisoners have never seen a farm or been near animals and crops,” he said. “After only a very short time under Andrew’s influence, I have seen prisoners, who only a few short years ago posed a significant risk to the public, be given the trust and responsibility for a living creature’s life, and bloom into driven, responsible and passionate individuals who glow with the pride of their endeavours. In fact, such is the passion these men have for the care of their animals it is almost impossible to stop them from devoting their time to these animals and I have to force them to have days off.”

Speaking about Mr Wright, the chair of the Butler Trust’s independent awarding panel, Sir Michael Harrison said: “Andrew is a truly inspiring example of a teacher sharing his passion in powerful ways. For almost two decades he has instilled his love of nature and of caring for animals into his prisoners. The effect of animal husbandry is remarkable. As a colleague put it, men are ‘blooming into driven, responsible and passionate individuals’.”