Schools Talk – Crime, Prisons & Offenders – The Role the Arts can Play

“Very eye-opening in terms of how fundamental yet broken our prison and correctional system is.”
“Great talk! I really enjoyed it – was genuinely quite surprised on how much it made me think.”
Pupils at Forest School

“Thank you for the brilliant talk about the role of the arts in the cycle of re-offending. I have always found myself arguing for the arts as an instrument for personal and social growth or change, and it was wonderful to hear you affirm this so articulately. You gave me so much to think about in the context of my own ambitions to pursue a career in writing and directing for theatre.”
Pupil, Leicester High School for Girls

“That was really brilliant! One of the best talks we’ve had. The students were completely absorbed. We will definitely be getting Angela back again.” 
Paul Jennings, Head of English and Enrichment, Rendcomb College

“A brilliant lecture, the kids were quite bowled over by what Angela had to say about prisons, as was I. The message is very, very interesting, compassionate and utterly relevant. The students’ preconceptions about society and the nature of punishment were really challenged and that left people with a real sense of enlightenment concerning the whole issue of effective prisons.”
Dan Tobias Head of Sixth Form, Monkton Combe School

“Angela Findlay’s brilliant talk gave our students a humane view of how and why people commit crimes, what it’s like to be in prison and how art projects can help prisoners rebuild self-esteem and confidence and express all kinds of feelings and ideas. It’s a subject far removed from our students’ experience of the world so her talk was all the more valuable for them.”
Tom Parsons, Housemaster, St Mary’s School, Ascot

“Thank you so much for coming to speak at Canford. For me it was certainly one of the most fascinating and thought provoking talks I’ve heard in a long time and this has been backed up by superb feedback from both pupils and staff. Not only is the message an extremely important one but also it came across so strongly in the wonderful photographs of prisoners’ art and you presented the arguments in an extremely accessible fashion. The statistics you use about re-offending rates and reasons behind crime are powerful in themselves although equally impressive was your empathetic approach to the issues presenting a dynamic case for making changes at the heart of the prison system.”
Richard Salmon, Head of Sixth Form, Canford School

“Well, you were SUCH a great success with the sixth form. So many have come to say how much they enjoyed your presentation. Really fascinating, uplifting and sad too. Many have said it was the best Friday talk ever! So, a huge thank you.”
Sian Williams, St Mary’s Shaftesbury

“As an Enrichment Talks coordinator, I have engaged many speakers from various fields. Angela’s talk was the highlight of our calendar. She delivered her presentation on Art in Prison to an initially sceptical audience of Years 10 and 11 but because the speech was so authoritative, engaging and accessible, by the end of the session the girls were fully receptive to the ideas and story of Angela’s experiences and many of them spoke to Angela and myself personally about how inspiring they found it. During the talk, Angela cogently leads her audience through the debate over the role of prisons and dispels many of the pervasive myths that endure about inmates and their crimes, before exploring directly, with clear illustrations, how creativity and expression can help those who have committed crimes address their own behaviour in a challenging but ultimately transformative manner. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to other schools and colleges as a highly professional and engaging speaker.”
Steve Besford, Head of Drama & Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator, Wakefield Girls’ High School

“Angela’s talk was brilliant. The sign of a good talk can be measured by the amount of questions asked at the end and there were a large number of questions. Angela held the attention of everyone in the hall for a full hour. It was a totally unique talk and we have not had anything like it before. A rousing success.”
Tom Shedden, Head of the Prideaux Society, Lord Wandsworth College

“It’s a real lottery as to what you get when you book a speaker for the first time, but Angela’s talk was excellent. The delivery was well paced and kept the students fully engaged throughout. She really captured and entertained them with the stories from prison, but left them with some challenging questions about the purpose of punishment.”
Gail Denham, Head of PSHE, Concord College

“Angela’s presentation was superb – it totally captured the attention of our girls, giving them much to reflect on. The length and resounding applause she received from them afterwards certainly demonstrated how much they enjoyed listening to her.”
Rama Davies, Head of Careers and Higher Education, Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls

“That was the best talk I’ve heard at this school!”
LVI student at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls

“That was fantastic – definitely one of the best talks I’ve heard in the past 10 years of coming to lectures here. The subject was fascinating and in no way did Angela judge or aim to sway opinion; she just presented the facts in a reasonable and objective manner making what she said so much more powerful.”
Jen Hart, Teacher, Reeds School, Cobham

“Angela Findlay gave an astonishing lecture to our Sixth Form that challenged their perceptions of the British Judicial system. Angela is a wonderful speaker and very passionate about her work. She gave a fascinating insight into the lives of many of the offenders with whom she had worked. Angela is an inspirational presenter and we will definitely be getting her back to Hymers.”
David Elstone, Headmaster, Hymers College, Hull

“Angela Findlay’s talk on ‘Crime, Prisoners and Offenders; the role the arts can play,” was inspiring and thought-provoking and our sixth formers thoroughly enjoyed it. The talk has stimulated much discussion in the sixth form this week with students pondering ‘how essential is public funding of the arts in times of austerity?’, ‘what’s the aim of punishment?’ and ‘what should we doing to lower prisoner re-offending rates?’ It was great to have such a stimulating lecture on an area, which many of our students hadn’t considered before. Angela’s delivery was clear, engaging and enthusiastic and the students particularly enjoyed seeing the images of her work undertaken in a range of prisons.”
Peter Thompson, Sixth Form General Studies, Prior Park

“Very interesting, extremely thought provoking and different to anything we had heard before. The talk increased our empathy towards people in prison and gave an insight into what prisoner’s life is actually like. The argument for using art to help in the rehabilitation of prisoners was well structured and well reasoned, we were completely persuaded that art is an excellent thing to use in prisons.”
Students at Guildford High School

“Best lecture yet by far in our series…”
Students at Kings School Worcester

“When I heard that Angela Findlay was coming into my school to talk to us about Art in Prison, I was intrigued to hear what it was all about. I was engrossed in her talk within the first 5 minutes. Everything that she was talking about related to my current psychology studies at school.  She motivated me to get involved and to volunteer in this programme; she completely opened my eyes to a current problem in our society that should be dealt with. Her passion for what she does is very infectious and I would like to thank her for such an inspiring and well-presented talk.”
Sixth Former, Rendcomb College

“A really good opportunity for our students to challenge some of the preconceptions they have about the prison system, as well as understanding alternative ways of working with offenders. The stories were powerful, the art projects shown fascinating. I learnt a great deal and the students loved it.”
Head of Theology, Notre Dame School

“I came to the talk with the view that prisoners wouldn’t gain from doing an art course. However, it has become clear that to understand and deal with one’s actions is the principle foundation for supporting prisoners not to re-offend.”
Sixth former at Notre Dame School

“You really have opened my eyes to how art can work and how it can help people learn and grow. My perspective of prisoners has been completely altered, and I am so grateful to you for that.”
Sixth former, Downe House School

“The talk was exactly what I hoped for.”
Desi Lyon, Head of Sixth Form, Priors Field School

“Angela caught the attention of every pupil and adult in the audience during her informative and inspiring talk. She challenges conventional methods of dealing with crime and punishment, provoking students into thinking deeply about the potential to use art, music and drama in therapy as part of an on-going process towards rehabilitation. While she spoke, you could have heard a pin drop.”
Mrs P, parent of 3 girls at Downe House

“I came to the lecture fully expecting to be bored for an hour. Instead, we had a really engaging talk that was utterly different to the preconceptions that we had built up on the topic. Angela was so insightful about the prison system and the way art can make a difference – it was a superb talk.”
Sixth former, Lord Wandsworth College

“I never knew anything about prisons before this. Angela really gave me something to think about.”
“Really interesting stories and experiences, she really got the audience engaged.”
“This was the best presentation this term.”
“Fascinating to see how art can create such harmony.”
“Amazing speaker, amazing stories. I loved it!”
Students at Concord College

“This was an informative, absorbing and wonderful talk. Angela’s concept of teaching art to prisoners is fascinating and might be something that HMP should adopt as a routine part of their prison programme…”
Kate Mastin-Lee, Lecture Programme Coordinator, St Mary’s Calne

“Angela gave an excellent talk to the upper sixth at Whitgift, incorporating within the presentation examples of prisoners’ artwork and film footage of the role of art in prison communities. The boys were still buzzing with the thought-provoking questions raised well after the talk itself. I wholeheartedly recommend Angela as a speaker to those running General Studies sessions for the sixth form.”
Liz Poole, Co-ordinator of General Studies, Whitgift School

“We would love you to come back next year…”
Jonathan ArscottTonbridge School

“An excellent talk, I would certainly recommend Angela to other schools.”
Joanna Winstanley, Continuing Education Co-ordinator, Woldingham School.

“As a Sixth Former, assemblies are usually laborious and dull so it was very refreshing to at last have something captivating, unique and intelligent, delivered with a passion and energy that captivated us in a way most school speakers cannot. I never knew art could be so academic and combined with the fantastic images it really offered a new interpretation on psychology in prisons. What I take from this is a desire to be more flexible in my thinking. Thank you.”
Sixth Former, Latymer Upper School

“Angela’s talk was all that I had hoped for. She offered an original subject matter, and gave us some complex and fascinating insights into another world, in a way that wasn’t at all patronising to our mixed-age audience. They listened very intently throughout her talk, and were full of questions afterwards.”
Hugo Mieville, Senior Master, Milton Abbey School

“That was marvelous. I could have easily listened for another hour. Everyone was listening so intently.”
Christian White, Head of Sixth Form, Royal Hospital School, Ipswich

“The talk was very informative, well-paced, clear and beautifully structured. It drew the audience in because the information was interesting and your knowledge of your subject comprehensive and compelling. With a very light touch on the factual information you challenged the girls to think about the prison system. You then took an area with which they are all very familiar and showed how art can serve as a means of helping prisoners to think about their crimes and makes sense of their sentences and sometimes enable them to understand themselves better. The girls were entranced and the atmosphere was one of deep fascination and respect. They all went away thinking about what you had said – in a small way, they were changed just a little bit by this talk. Thank you.”
Catherine Lane, Head of Sixth Form and Guidance, St Mary’s Shaftesbury

“The students found if fascinating and inspirational… a resounding success!”
Linda Gregory, Deputy Head and Head of Enrichment, Headington School

“At Trent we have an extensive extra-curricular programme for our Sixth Form and try to offer the students a wide range of experiences through visiting speakers. Angela captured the imagination of the audience with her fascinating stories of working with offenders in prison through the medium of art. The talk provoked much subsequent discussion, really the object of the exercise of course, and has helped shape new attitudes and perspectives on life, incarceration and rehabilitation. We would recommend her whole-heartedly as a speaker addressing issues that are not often covered in this type of forum.”
David Tidy, Assistant Head, Trent College

“The talk gave me a real insight into how little things can make a difference to all individuals.”
Sixth Former, St Edward’s School

“Angela Findlay has come to the school twice to deliver her inspirational lecture on the use of art in prisons. On both occasions, I found myself wanting far more than the hour’s worth of lecture.  This is a world about which our students have absolutely no knowledge.  The presentation encourages an emotional response and some of the work produced by the prisoners drew gasps from the Sixth Form as well as a measured sense of empathy. Angela is about to embark on a new talk – I can’t wait!”
Christian White, Head of Sixth Form, Royal Hospital School, Ipswich

“We so very much enjoyed your talk last Thursday. The girls are still talking about it a week later. One Lower Sixth girl has decided to research working with young offenders as a volunteer when she is old enough. The images you showed us and the story they told was so mind-expanding for the girls. Thank you SO much.”
Fiona Donaldson, Bruton School for Girls

“Angela gave a fascinating insight into the work of painting and Art with prisoners and how it can be used to help build bridges and overcome emotional difficulties. She was inspiring and sensitive but also there was an underlying humour and sense of warmth and humanity to her talk. The sixth form students were really interested and keen to explore and find out more. Thank you so much Angela for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.”
Kate Palmer, Director of Studies and Head of Geography, d’Overbroeck’s College, Oxford

“The talk was certainly stimulating and although I didn’t agree with everything that was said, (my views on crime and retribution having always been somewhat Dickensian), the lecturer was most convincing in her advocation of rehabilitative justice forcing me to reconsider my views in that regard.”
Harry Ferris, Upper Sixth, Cheltenham College

Schools Talk – The Other Side: The Second World War Through the Eyes of an Ordinary German Family

“Thank you so much for coming in on Friday. It was so lovely speaking to my U6 students in my lesson immediately after your talk, as it had really opened their eyes to another side of the war that they think they know so much about.”
Sarah Patterson, Pastoral Director of Sixth Form, Headington School

“As a student of German heritage, I would like to thank you for your lecture as it highlighted an aspect of life around World War 2, which is usually disregarded by most books. The talk was very informative and I think it helped many students understand the life of a German family during World War 2 and what they must have had to endure. It highlighted how the war must have had negative impacts on all parties involved and it went into depth about Germany’s shared national guilt that must have been felt around the aftermath of the war.”
Constantin von Lingen, Sixth former, Gordonstoun

“Thank you so much for yesterday; I’ve already received such positive feedback from the staff and students, and it has really provided a rich topic of conversation in the Sixth Form tutor groups!”
William Forse, Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Guildford High School

“Angela’s story is an astonishing one, not just for the personal history that she unravels in her exploration of her German family’s past, but in the way that she translates this into a broader concern with Germany’s national guilt and its efforts at reconciliation in the turbulent wake of WW2. She both resists and interrogates the cultural and historical stereotypes that constrain meaningful discussion about Europe’s political make-up, and her personal perspective reminds us that a national consciousness is not a faceless one, but made up of ordinary families, sometimes living through extraordinary times. Angela is a truly gifted speaker, holding her 6th form audience for a full hour, and engaging us in an intellectual as well as emotional investigation of our relationships with our pasts. She is really masterful in her delivery, and her subject is vital if we are to look to education to guide us in what it truly means to be human. She is top of my list of speakers to invite back.”
Director of Sixth Form, Headington School

“The talk was fantastic and I’ve spoken to many of the Yr11 and Yr12s’ who were in attendance and the feedback has been 100% positive. Once again, can I pass on my thanks from all our pupils. The talk was engaging, enlightening, tragic, humorous and ultimately thought-provoking. We look forward to welcoming you back to Colfe’s in the near future.”
Craig Foxall, Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Colfe’s School, London

“Very interesting… compelling… thought-provoking… daring…”
Nomadic Thoughts, London

“Our students were mesmerised by Angela’s talk and particularly valued her insights into the impact the Second World War had on an ordinary German family. Her exploration of the impact of the war on Germany today was fascinating and raised some searching questions about a how a country can move forward constructively from a very dark period in its history. The students left the talk buzzing with ideas and questions – thank you Angela!”
Robyn Gladwyn, Head of Community Service, Kingston Grammar School

“Angela has a lovely voice that makes you want to listen to whatever she says. Her talk on Prisons last year was amazing, I think this one on Germany was even better.”
Student at Prior Park College, Bath

“That was the best General Studies Lecture I have heard.”
Student at Prior Park College, Bath

“It was so interesting; no one ever talks about how hard it must have been for people living in Germany at that time, I hadn’t even considered some of the things Angela mentioned. I really do wonder if I would have been strong enough to stand up for what I believe knowing the consequences.”
Student at Prior Park College, Bath

“Angela’s talk on German history and her own family’s role within this was extremely interesting and thought-provoking. The lecture received a very positive response from the full range of people who attended, from students through to the Headmaster of the School! Her inter-linking of the personal with the broader sweep of history was a particularly pleasing aspect of the talk especially, I feel, for the students present who are so often limited to ‘book history’.”

“It was also very thought-provoking to hear of Germany’s attempts to memorialise the past and the various ways in which this was taking place – indeed this was the area that most people singled out for praise and would possibly wish to hear more of in the future. A worthwhile and fascinating speaker!”
Philip Stott, Ryde School, Isle of Wight

“The first Headmaster’s lecture of the new term and the new calendar year, took place in the NBT on Friday evening. Our speaker was Angela Findlay, who had thrilled us two years ago with her talk about her use of art in dealing with dangerous prisoners. This time, she enthralled us with her very personal tale of her family’s life in Nazi Germany, when her grandfather had been a Wehrmacht general. Her talk dealt with her own need to understand her grandfather’s true nature; as well as her own feelings as an Anglo-German, and the representation in German public art and sculpture of a whole nation’s feelings.”

“This school listened intently to Angela’ moving and interesting talk, and we look forward to welcoming her back to Milton Abbey another time.”
Hugo Mieville, Senior Master, Milton Abbey School

“Angela’s talk on viewing the Second World War from the perspective of a German family was a fascinating addition to our enrichment programme. It was thought-provoking and sparked debate between the students, parents and staff. The talk challenged our perceptions of the Germans during the war and how they have been portrayed in films, comedies and newspapers since the war. In modern society, we are far more aware of our prejudices be they race or gender but anti-German feeling or humour is still viewed as acceptable. The talk was superbly supported by fascinating photographs and letters, and Angela’s journey to discover the truth about her family was emotional and gripping.”
Dan Coll, Head of Sixth Form, Silcoates School

“As a person interested in both history and genealogy I found it fascinating to hear Angela Findlay’s view on the Second World War and how the German people were affected and are still being punished today for the crimes committed by their ancestors. She described how her family was forced to flee its home by the advancing Red Army, portraying the Germans also as victims; a side of the story rarely looked at. She continued her thought provoking speech by explaining the German method of memorialising the war in a different way to the British. They use counter memorials to make people think such as the gold squares set in the pavement, each remembering a different life lost. Overall her speech challenged the audience’s perception of the life of the Germans both throughout and after the Third Reich.”
Zoe AshmoreLower Sixth student, Silcoates School

“Angela Findlay delivered a thought-provoking talk to the Sixth Form Society last week. The aim of the lecture was to look at the Second World War from the perspective of a German family. She had researched the German side of her family through letters and photographs, and discovered that her grandfather was a decorated German General.  Further research revealed that he was tried, but exonerated, for war crimes and went through the post-war process of de-nazification. Angela also discussed the different approaches to memorialising the war and provided information about the counter-memorials erected in Germany. The talk challenged the audience’s perceptions of the war and proved to be a fascinating insight into a highly relevant topic.”
Silcoates Sixth Form Society, posted on March 10, 2014 by Louise Leach

“A wonderful talk! Angela has an uncanny knack of providing perspectives, which are counter-intuitive, forcing us all to reconsider our values and question traditional wisdom. A lecture asking for a re-think about German soldiers and their actions during WW2 does not seem destined to succeed but the way in which the entire Sixth Form sat so still underlines just what an impression she made.”
Christian White, Head of Sixth Form, Royal Hospital School

“You have the skill and humanity to engage children across Senior School years, inviting them to identify with a different culture. They begin to understand the concept of received guilt and the journey of the German nation to atone for the deeds of their forefathers. The insight into the style of German memorials to the victims of the holocaust is particularly fascinating and memorable. Thank you for a truly outstanding presentation.”
Ann Whitchurch, Director of Studies, Our Lady of Sion School

“It was really interesting, well researched and had a personal touch that made it easier to understand.”
“It was interesting learning about the war from another point of view.”
“I learned a lot about the holocaust.”
Year 8 girls

“Extremely interesting and I learned a lot.”
“I learnt lots of things and now see the war in a different perspective.”
“I found it really interesting learning about other people’s thoughts about the war.”
“It was a very interesting insight into the different sides of the war.”
It was very moving.”
Year 8 boys

“It was a privilege to hear Angela Findlay’s talk about her family’s relationship with, and attitudes towards, the Nazi regime in Germany. She managed to captivate a whole room of usually restless Sixth formers with her riveting, emotional and honest account of what it was like to live under the Nazis.”
Harry Clayton, Head of History, Francis Holland School

“There has been a very positive response from all the pupils and staff and many said that they found your lecture really fascinating and that it made them think about something they had never reflected upon before. I also chatted to many of the German pupils and they all agreed that what you said was spot on.”

“So once again, Angela I must thank you for an excellent lecture. I think your lecture on Germany should be heard in every school in the land.”
Dan Tobias, Head of Lectures, Monkton Combe Senior School

“What a complete joy it was to have Angela at Marlborough College to give an enchanting and inspiring talk to a large and spell-bound audience. Her insights on the life of the German part of her family and their experiences before, during and after the Second World War were captivating in the extreme and easily held the rapt attention of the entire gathering for an hour. In the end we were left wondering where that hour had gone to – it all passed by in such a flash, such are Angela’s impressive rhetorical skills and her obvious and deep enthusiasm for her topic. I can’t wait until we welcome her back to give one of her other talks – even if it is only half as good as the one she gave last night it will still be magnificent.”
The Revd Dr David Campbell, Senior Chaplain, Marlborough College

Schools Talk – Counter Memorials – Germany’s post-WW2 Culture of Apology and Atonement

“Angela’s talk was riveting. Her personal and gentle exposure of an incredibly difficult topic together with the use of photographs and personal testimony opened our eyes to appreciate the subtle messages given by memorials and the apologetic nature of it. In a world riddled with conflict this is a message relevant for every society, tribe and race. Thank you for such a thought-provoking message.”
Clare Akrasi, Teacher, Buckswood School 

“Your talk was pitch-perfect and, dare I say, very enjoyable (in a sobering sort of way). We will certainly have you talk here at Bruton again.”
Xaviere Harvey, Head of Sixth Form, Bruton School

“The lecture was extraordinarily interesting. It is well known that ‘history is written by the victors’, so it was good to be reminded that the other side had losses and people to grieve too. It was particularly interesting to investigate the counter-memorials in Germany and the way people are doing their best to move past their history. Thank you for the great lecture and the opportunity for further discussion afterwards at dinner.”
Cameron Leslie, Upper Sixth student, King William’s College, Isle of Man

“A fantastic lecture; a woman with a fascinating personal background and a group of young people eager for discussion with topics ranging from memorial statues to current global politics! A refreshing evening with some interesting food for thought.”
Carola Kesküla, Lower Sixth student, King William’s College, Isle of Man

“A couple of years ago we went on a school trip to Berlin and visited some of their memorials to the second World War, however we did not fully understand them at the time. It was so interesting, therefore, to learn about the different types of memorials and counter-memorials, and in particular, to gain a greater appreciation for the memorials we had visited. It was also fascinating to expand on and continue these discussions with Ms Findlay at the meal afterwards, especially as our Sixth Form is composed of students from many different cultures, from all over the world.”
Emily Rimmer, Upper Sixth student, King William’s College, Isle of Man

“Angela Findlay’s lecture was really excellent as it offered an alternative viewpoint for that much-discussed period in history. I enjoyed her exploration of the rebuilding of German society and the tackling of the somewhat delicate issue of commemoration in this country. It was so interesting to learn more about the memorials built to commemorate German losses, and the different ways in which they have been interpreted – even those that have been seen as inappropriate of have been altered and modified. The lecture kept everyone’s attention throughout with Ms Findlay’s eloquent and informed slides. A great success!”
Saskia Humphreys, Lower Sixth student, King William’s College, Isle of Man

“Thank you again for a most stimulating and thought-provoking lecture – our L6th pupils in particular have been discussing it in class this week, arguing amongst other things about whether the commemoration of the Holocaust should be in the hands of artists or historians! (The answer is, of course, both). I know you will have stimulated many of them to join the Berlin trip this summer, and I would be delighted if you would return to Brighton College to speak to our sixth-form historians in the next academic year, perhaps with the specific focus on your own family history. In addition, it was very pleasing to see so many younger pupils attending the lecture – and then coming back for future talks and events during the week, obviously inspired by your engaging talk. Whilst the material was pitched at a sophisticated level, the delivery and slideshow made the whole audience feel involved, as did your obvious passion and personal engagement with the subject matter. I will certainly be recommending you to other Heads of History who wish to explore this topic in more depth and give their pupils an insight into post-war German culture and society.”
Joe Skeaping, Head of History, Brighton College

“Angela’s lecture was superb for a number of reasons. As an historian, I am particularly interested in memory and the memorialisation of events and individuals. Her lecture helped me to think about how societies have changed or adapt normative ways of remembering in line with the event. What was particularly interesting was the idea of a ‘counter memorial’, which pushes our understanding of memory and memorialisation into some interesting areas.”
Jai Majithia, History Department, Brighton College

Crime, Prisons & Offenders – The Role the Arts can Play

 A fantastic and inspirational lecture…thank you, it really has given me food for thought and I wish the rest of the world could hear it.”
The Arts Society Meon Valley

“Your lecture was a tour de force: very well structured and articulate, and I had so many comments from members saying how they had learned something new and were inspired to visit Berlin etc.  A couple had attended specially as a result of someone recommending you…”
The Arts Society Hallamshire

 “Your lecture went down really well with our society and our committee voted you an ‘outstanding’ as there was nothing but positive feedback! I love it when there are lots of questions and everyone is so engaged with the subject. It certainly affected many of our members, including me!”
The Arts Society West Cornwall

“Thank you so much for such an enthralling lecture and for engaging so well with our audience before and after it. We have had lots of very enthusiastic feedback.”
The Arts Society Teme Valley

“This was one of the most important lectures we have had and you were awarded an overwhelming Outstanding on our members lecture comment forms. Congratulations!!”
Moray Banff & Badenoch DFAS

“Angela’s approach to working with prisoners to give them a purpose and an interest through art is fascinatingly simple and very interesting. The hall was packed and she had her audience spellbound. You could have heard a pin drop. Sincere, brave and not at all judgmental, her talk certainly made me wonder whether there aren’t improvements that can be made to the prison system and in particular to make it easier for prisoners to integrate back into society when they have served their sentence. Thought provoking. Touched my heart. It still worries me.”
Julian Pilcher – NADFAS audience member

“100% brilliant! Quite the most fantastic lecture – in every way – I have ever attended. You captivated your audience from start to finish, even making us laugh, despite the often sad subject.”
Mrs D, NADFAS audience member

“What a great privilege to have been able to listen to Angela’s talk. It gave me a greater understanding, sympathy and humility.”
Mr P, NADFAS audience member

“I am fortunate enough to have been a NADFAS member for nearly four decades. Over this period I have enjoyed an enormous number of lectures of considerable high quality and interest. Angela is undoubtedly a delightfully engaging, informative, and inspiring lecturer. She really knows her stuff and expresses it with clarity, eloquence and style.”
NADFAS audience member

“I just wanted to write to say how much we enjoyed tonight’s lecture. A truly inspirational speaker and such an interesting topic – despite the fog, well worth coming out for.
Tomorrow I shall have to phone Michael Gove to ask him to contact Angela, someone should be listening to her!! Well done for finding this lady!”
Catherine Porter, Helmsley DFAS

“Thank you for such a thoughtful, illuminating, inspiring and insightful introduction to the story of using art in prisons. It was one of the best public lectures I’ve ever attended – and I’ve been to more than just a few over the years!”
Audience member, Helmsley DFAS

“Absorbing, informative, thought-provoking.”

“Well-constructed, clear diction and excellent delivery.”

“Well delivered and very interesting, albeit slightly idealistic.”

“The speaker was very inspiring, knowledgeable, engaging, brave. She knew her stuff, leaving us with a desire to know more about the subject – always a good sign!”

“She delivered her lecture in a most charming way.”

“Something totally different – gets us all thinking! Angela was also an excellent speaker.”

“Unusual, thought-provoking topic.”

“Excellent speaker in command of her subject, clear and amusing.”

“Challenging, engaging, stimulating lecture – packed with information fluently and eloquently delivered.”

“Would like to hear it all over again. Inspiring!”

“Articulate conversational tone with very appropriate images.”
BEDFAS (Carole Gumbley)

“You really made them sit up and think.”
Libby Ancrum, Walthamstow Hall

“You could not have aimed the ‘story’ more accurately at our audience… When people are made to really look and think, it can become obvious that there is the possibility of more than mere punishment in the prison system and that education for the offender can benefit not only the prisoner, but ultimately the ordinary man in the street too.”
Sarah Harris, NADFAS Young Arts

“As well as being informative, Angela’s talk was very moving and insightful and some of the ways in which the offenders had responded to her work brought tears to the eyes of those listening. The way in which Angela used her material gently led listeners towards compassion for these offenders and at least some sympathetic understanding by the end. This was impressive. We recommend Angela Findlay as an interesting, informative, enthusiastic and empathetic Speaker.”
Caroline Lorimer, Chairman, NADFAS Young Arts

“A wonderfully received lecture that was the most thought provoking that we have ever had. This lecture really makes you think.”
Programme Secretary, Glaven Valley DFAS


Counter Memorials – Germany’s post-WW2 Culture of Apology and Atonement

“Your lecture was outstanding.  Not only was it a fascinating and unusual subject but also you delivered it so clearly, with conviction and enthusiasm.  That conviction was reinforced by the personal element and clear emotional attachment to your story.”
The Arts Society Fylde

“Thank you for the thought provoking lecture today. It really was one of the best lectures my wife and I have ever attended.”
The Arts Society East Suffolk

“There has been a terrific response to your moving & inspiring lecture with evaluations of outstanding / excellent by the members.”
The Arts Society Fylde

“Thank you very much for your brilliant and moving lecture last evening. It is an important and unknown story made all the more remarkable by your personal family connections.
The Arts Society South Cambridge

“Thank you so much for a really interesting and stimulating lecture. Everyone I spoke to enjoyed it immensely and I would definitely like to invite you again in the future.”
The Arts Society Haslemere

“Our sincere thanks for your splendid presentation. It was immensely interesting and thought provoking as well as being expertly presented and illustrated. The feedback since the presentation has all been exceptionally positive. Consequently, we are eager for you to return next year.”
St Paul’s Evergreens

“The best lecture we have had in 33 years of our Society.”
Vice-President, North Herts DFAS (Valerie Pennifer)

“Thank you so much for giving us such an outstanding insight into your subject. I have rarely felt such intense attention to the speaker from an audience. You could tell from the atmosphere in the room at the end of your talk that it was exceptional. I have had comments from many members praising your presentation and the way in which you drew us into the subject with such clarity and honesty. You really opened our eyes and understanding to an aspect of German culture so different from that of the UK to the heritage of WW2.”
Chairman, Sutton Coldfield DFAS

“The overwhelming verdict on your lecture was that it was outstanding.”

“Engrossing… held my attention 100%… meaningful… informative… beautifully spoken… moving… illuminating… sombre… truly exceptional… Applause is not enough.”
Committee members of Mayford DFAS (Rosalie Lander)

“Angela’s talk was utterly superb. The interesting contrast between military memorials here and in Germany was fascinating and something I had never really thought about, but the way she combined this with the psychology of it all on a national, and then personal, levels was just amazing – and also very moving. She showed enormous courage in confronting all this so honestly and directly and everyone hugely appreciated it – “the best ever talk” they all said.”
Kit and Penny Power, Meon Valley DFAS member

“Beautifully delivered, wonderful slides and so thought provoking.”
Meon Valley DFAS member

“It was the most brilliant talk, not only did we all learn so much but it was so sensitive, deeply thought provoking and Angela’s voice is so lovely, her speech faultless with no hesitations, truly wonderful.”
Toni Dreyer, Meon Valley DFAS member

“We were so moved and driven to reflection by Angela’s talk that it is hard to put into words. What brave women – you, your mother and Angela. You and your mother for surviving a situation that is incomprehensible to people like me. And Angela for having the courage and loyalty to her grandfather to explore the tragic circumstances of the 1930s and 40s in Germany.) Angela’s brilliant exposition of the work of successive artists to try and come to terms with a history for which they were not responsible, yet who felt a profound need to express regret, was profoundly moving. Thank you for this enlightenment.”
Jill Sindall, Meon Valley DFAS member

“Your talk was a ‘tour de force’ – the research and your approach on the psychology of the German people after the war was superb.”
Monique Clowes, Meon Valley DFAS member

“Angela’s lecture was exceptional and both very touching and extremely interesting. I so much admired her skill in describing the emotion of the German nation after the war, the monuments and their symbolism and her own knowledge and experience. I thought it was a beautifully constructed and expressed talk and I know many of the audience were encouraged to think more deeply about a subject, which she understood so well.”
Sarah Medd, Meon Valley DFAS member

“Thank you so much for coming and delivering such a fascinating lecture – I certainly learnt a huge amount and am very grateful to you for increasing my understanding of Germany. All the people I spoke to also found it a very absorbing talk and were very pleased to be there. We would certainly be interested in asking you again.”
Mary Hogg, Programme Secretary, Meon Valley FAS

“We had a large audience of nearly 50 people and many people said how much they enjoyed the talk. Some added that it was one of the best Tuesday Talks they’d attended! We think that you probably could have gone on for longer if there wasn’t a time limit. Thank you for coming along to share your experiences with us; and we’re sure that your talk would appeal to a wide range of people.”
Jenny Hughes, Director, FiSH, Barnes

“Very interesting… compelling… thought-provoking… daring…”
Nomadic Thoughts, London

“Angela Findlay has a remarkable record of working in prisons. She is a most able and engaging presenter of the case for including the arts in every offender resettlement programme. I could not recommend her talk more strongly to anyone who has an interest in this vital subject.”
The Lord Ramsbotham, former Chief Inspector of Prisons

“Art is an amazingly powerful way of engaging offenders to find new directions in life.  No one knows more about this than Angela Findlay, a passionate and highly skilled artist with years of experience in prisons. The talks that Angela gives about her work – alive with illustrations, humour and stories – are an inspiration.”
Tim Robertson, Former Director, Koestler Trust – Arts by Offenders

“Angela’s work is right on the money for prisoners who have no sense of what they are capable of. She opens them up and lets them fly into a world that vastly expands their imaginations, trapped as they are in such confined spaces physically. The transformation can be magical, and can lead to more permanent changes in their lives.”
Roger Graef, Writer, Film maker, Criminologist

“It was staggering to watch Angela. Her ability to enthuse and inspire broke barriers and transcended boundaries.”
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen while filming “Hidden Talent: locked away” for BBC2 at HMP Stafford

“Angela brought to the Koestler Trust a great deal of commitment, energy, experiences, and ideas that she had gleaned from her years in the German prison service. Having worked with autonomous governors who fully supported the arts and ensured that arts participation was embedded in the prison regime, she is a first-hand witness to the improvement in offenders’ motivation and self-esteem that such a system can generate.

She brings a valuable vision and degree of commitment to this sector. Her ground-breaking initiatives in the Learning to Learn scheme not only encourage offenders to acquire education and key skills but thereby help them to break the vicious circle of reoffending behaviour. I fully endorse Angela’s skills and the value of her contribution in this field.”
Ariane Bankes, Vice Chair, Koestler Trust

” Angela is bloody impressive… she really knows her stuff.”
Member of Michael Gove’s team, Ministry of Justice

“It will be great to have someone with your influence and enthusiasm involved with helping us in the future.”
Member of the Strategy Unit, Ministry of Justice

 “I found what you had to say really interesting and inspiring and our meeting certainly made me realise even more than previously the importance of the Arts in the prison context. Their role in the education and rehabilitation of offenders, especially those with minimal schooling, is clearly vital.”
Dame Sally Coates, United Learning

” Angela Findlay’s talk at HMP Wormwood Scrubs was the most inspiring, clear minded and well-argued case for the arts to play a pivotal role in prisoner rehabilitation that I have heard.”
Business Leader

Read my monthly blogs - relating to Criminal Justice, Germany’s and Britain’s differing cultures of World War 2 Remembrance, and art as a tool for change