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Community group donates inspirational book to inmates

Members of the Personal Empowerment Circle receive books for Westgate inmates as part of a rehabilitation campaign. Pictured, from left: Glenn Fubler, Martin Buckley, Keeva Joell-Benjamin, Laura Walker, Malcolm Kirkland and Anthony Bennett (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Westgate inmates were rewarded with books on perseverance and second chances as part of a new charity drive.

The Personal Empowerment Circle, a group of volunteers aimed at rehabilitating prisoners, received 20 copies of the book The Master Plan during a hand-off ceremony at the Bookmart in Brown & Co in Hamilton.

The hand-off was joined by Anthony Bennett, who said that the donation underscored the work of his grandfather, Wilfred “Mose” Allen, who helped to create the Progressive Labour Party and become a representative at the first Constitutional Conference of Bermuda in 1966 in London – all after serving a jail sentence in his youth.

Mr Burgess added: “Words can’t really express my gratitude.

“There’s a lot of people who do a lot but their name falls to the wayside and people don’t know who they are, so I’m just very glad that his name is being remembered.”

The Master Plan looks at how author Chris Wilson turned his life around during a life sentence.

Glenn Fubler, the leader of the Personal Empowerment Circle, said that copies of The Master Plan would go to the 18 inmates who completed a parenting programme hosted by the Mirrors programme.

He added that several books, including two copies of The Master Plan, had been donated to the Westgate library and several of the prison’s rehabilitation programmes.

The donation drive was started near the end of February, but was pitched as early as 2018 to improve the lives of Westgate inmates.

The scheme got the backing of several overseas activists, including Earl Deveaux, a former minister of agriculture in the Bahamas, and Carl Turpin, a former steelworker and union organiser who later became a lawyer in Chicago.

Mr Fubler said that the group had also raised $3,398 worth of book certificates from Hamilton businesses such as the Bookmart at Brown & Co.

He added: “It’s been a community-wide project, and the key is bringing the community together to recognise that those who happen to be incarcerated in places like Westgate are still a part of our community.

“That’s the philosophy of the personal empowerment circle – we are all the same.

“Some people have made mistakes, but we want to let all of those people in know in Westgate that they are all a part of our community.”

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Published May 11, 2022 at 7:41 am (Updated May 11, 2022 at 7:41 am)

Community group donates inspirational book to inmates

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