The Essex Innovation Programme (EIP) and The Prince’s Trust have worked together to help an entrepreneur to write and publish a fitness book for prisoners which has resulted in the publication of workout book.
In addition to mentoring from The Prince's Trust and funding from EIP has so far enabled entrepreneur L.J. Flanders to produce and market his ‘Cell Workout’ book which has so far sold in the UK, the US and Spain. The book is available on the internet.
How Cell Workout came about
Whilst in prison Flanders overcame the long periods of confinement by keeping fit and taking a personal trainer course. This led to him working in the prison gym and writing workouts for other inmates.
“I wasn’t a gym goer before I went to prison. I’d say I was ‘football fit’ really, playing a couple of times a week. I was 21 when I went inside. It was daunting and I knew I didn’t want to come back.”
Keen to pursue the benefit of physical and mental wellbeing for prisoners, Flanders set about researching if there were any kind of publications on prison fitness. Unable to find any he set about writing a workout that could be done in a cell.
“There are only so many standard press-ups or sit-ups a person can do in a room that’s eight feet by six feet without getting bored or hitting a plateau.”
In addition to the benefits to others this project is of significant benefit to Flanders. Government research shows that Prisoners Education Trust (PET)-funded learners are more than a quarter less likely to reoffend when compared with similar prisoners.
Working with EIP & The Prince’s Trust
His initial workout project, further research and an article in The Telegraph inspired Flanders to further develop his idea and upon his release from prison Flanders began to write a prison workout book.
Flanders wanted to sell the book to prisons to encourage prisoners to stay fit and healthy. Unsure how to get a book published Flanders approached The Prince’s Trust for guidance and funding.
When Flanders initially came to The Prince's Trust they were able to intoduce him to EIP who provide The Prince's Trust with money to help entrepeneurs. Through this partnership they were able to help Flanders with his project by giving him the business advice and backing in order to get his book published.
EIP helped Flanders with a marketing strategy and provided £1000 funding for promotion and production of his ‘Cell Workout’ book. So far:
- ‘Cell Workout’ has sold over 150 books in the two months since The Telegraph article
- The book is now available on the internet
- The book has sold in the UK, the US and Spain
- HMP Thameside now stocks the book encouraging other prisoners to stay fit and healthy
- Flanders is now embarking on a career as a freelance personal trainer after 18 months working for Virgin Active
How the Prince’s Trust works with EIP
The Essex Innovation Programme works with young entrepreneurs through the Prince’s Trust programme. Working with the Prince’s Trust EIP provides all the support and experience needed to help young entrepreneurs to get their business off the ground.
The Enterprise programme, run by the Prince’s Trust in conjunction with EIP, can help candidates aged 18-30, unemployed, or working fewer than 16 hours a week with a business idea, decide whether self-employment is right for them.
See here for more information on the Essex Innovation Programme.
Source [The Telegraph]