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.

  • Our Supporters

Spring, HM Prison Isle of Wight (Pankhurst), Bronze Award for Painting, 2019

Our Supporters

Thank you to all of our supporters

To achieve our goals we rely on the generosity of our supporters and donors, and we are enormously grateful for all gifts.

For two generations we have been supporting prisoners, secure patients, and immigration detainees to transform their lives through art, and 9 out of 10 of the Koestler Awards are funded thanks to voluntary donations.

We would like to thank all organisations, businesses, trusts, and foundations who support and contribute to our work, and are grateful to Arts Council England, HMPPS, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust, The Monument Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust for their endorsement of our work.

We would also like to thank our Koestler Friends, and all individuals who support the work we do with both regular and one-off donations. Your help allows us to reach and motivate some of society’s most marginalised individuals, providing focus and a chance to celebrate positive achievements.

To see all the ways in which you can support us click here. If you are interested in our work and the role of the arts in supporting the rehabilitative journeys of prisoners, and want to discover more about how you can join our family of supporters, you can email the Development Team at support-us@koestlerarts.org.uk or give us a call on 020 8740 0333.


I am a committed supporter of the rehabilitative benefit of what Koestler provide and, through the excellent contact of the Du Cane Road team, I am kept in touch with what’s happening – not to mention being invited to all the wonderful exhibitions!
I can not recommend more strongly the value in becoming a friend of the trust and supporting the charity’s inspired work.

Pierce Brunt, Award Namer and former exhibition curator

Koestler Arts not only provides an art market but also brings hope and purpose for those who have lost their freedom and a way of those who are free to show their interest and concern.

Sally Zimmerman, long-term supporter