HUNDREDS of sleeping bags left behind at this year’s Bestival have been salvaged and cleaned-up with help from inmates at HMP Isle of Wight in a project to help a youth charity.
The prisoners have been doing their bit to help Isle of Wight charity Challenge & Adventure by laundering more than 400 sleeping bags salvaged from music festival.
The collaboration has not only reduced landfill, but some of the bags will be sold to help raise much needed funds for the charity, while others will be donated to charities supporting homeless people.
Challenge and Adventure helps disadvantaged and challenging young people get their lives back on track.
The sleeping bags were donated from Tangerine Fields, who rent out ready made tent pitches at Bestival, and replace their sleeping bags each year.
The prison stepped in, offering its prisoner staffed laundry services to get the bags freshly cleaned for the charity to sell.
Project leader, Gary Meek, said: "The charity was set up by two Isle of Wight policemen 20 years ago as a crime diversion project, so it's brilliant to have the prisoners at HMP Isle of Wight helping with a scheme that keeps young Islanders out of trouble.
"Such care and attention was paid to cleaning the sleeping bags, we're really grateful to all the prisoners and staff involved.
"There's is so much waste at Island festivals and Bestival are really keen to make sure as little goes to landfill as possible so we're were really keen to help out in this way.
"We're hoping to sell on the sleeping bags as part of a new retail project to raise funds for the charity, as well as donating a number to homeless charities."