Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

  • One-Off Donations

Space Quest?, HM Prison Elmley, Painting 2018

One-off Donations

Donate now to help us continue our work

We are hugely grateful to everyone who helps us celebrate achievement in the arts by individuals who are often side-lined or voiceless.

Without Koestler I would have had nothing in prison to show me that I can change, and make a new future for myself. Hearing people say positive things about my work is a new experience and drives me to keep trying.

Koestler Awards entrant 2018

Your support will help us reach and motivate more prisoners, secure patients and detainees to take part in the arts, learning the skills and gaining the confidence to lead creative, positive and productive lives.

If you would like to give regularly instead of a one-off donation, click here.

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Gift Aid It!Add 25% more to your donation at no cost to you. A Gift Aid declaration allows Koestler Arts to claim tax back on eligible donations. It means that for every £1 you donate to Koestler Arts we can claim back 25p, at no extra cost to you.

By ticking the "Yes" box, I agree I would like Koestler Arts to reclaim the tax on all qualifying donations I have made, as well as any future donations, until I notify them otherwise. I understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year I may be asked to pay any difference. I understand that Koestler Arts will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that I give.

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid does not cost you a penny more, but can add an additional 25p to every £1 you donate. When Koestler Arts receives a donation from a UK taxpayer, we're entitled to claim an amount of tax (calculated at the basic rate of income tax in that year) paid on that donation. Once you have given your permission for us to do this on your behalf, there is no need for you to do anything else.

All that is required is that you must be a taxpayer and that would have paid or will pay sufficient Income and/or Capital Gains Tax to cover all the Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in that tax year. Please note that it is your responsibility to pay any difference.

The amount of tax we claim will be 25% of the total value of your donations in that tax year. Furthermore, if you are a higher taxpayer, you are also entitled to claim the difference between the basic rate which we will claim and the amount of tax you have actually paid. For further details on how you can do this, please contact your tax office. If your tax situation changes and your gifts will no longer be eligible for the Gift Aid scheme please contact us and we will amend your record accordingly.

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Donation Total: £25.00


can pay for the printing of 200 posters to be sent to establishments, advertising the Koestler Awards and encouraging entries.


processes one entry to the Koestler Awards, from handling, logging in, judging and sending feedback and a certificate.


can frame and mount an artwork to go on display in one of our exhibitions.


can pay for an artist’s family member to attend our national exhibition and see their loved one’s artwork displayed at the Royal Festival Hall.


can pay for us to visit a prison, secure hospital or detention centre. These visits allow us to communicate directly with our entrants, and provide a valuable opportunity to present certificates, show examples of award-winning artworks, and introduce new entrants to the Koestler Awards.