WANDOO Reintegration Facility hosted its inaugural gala day on Friday, raising $4000 for mental health charity beyondblue.
Prisoners sold handmade cakes, sweets and preserves and a variety of plants to a range of stakeholders invited into the minimum security facility for the day.
The day was highlighted by an art auction featuring works created by inmates.
Wandoo deputy superintendent John Tinline said the gala day was inspired by one of the facility’s reintegration officers, who raised more than $8000 for beyondblue on his own.
“Last year a member of our staff who has had struggles with his mental health decided to challenge himself and complete a 100km single-handed marathon on a rowing machine,” Mr Tinline said.
“We were so impressed and proud we decided to try assist his cause by running an event at the facility.”
A number of prisoners, which Wandoo Reintegration Facility refers to as residents, jumped at the opportunity to get involved.
“We supplied the materials and some of the guys volunteered to paint artworks to auction,” Mr Tinline said.
“We’ve also had a handful of residents who worked flat out in the kitchen for the week or so before the event and some others who worked with the horticulture instructor to grow and pot seedlings.”
Mr Tinline said Wandoo was considering opening to the general public for a second gala day next year.
Wandoo Reintegration Facility caters for offenders aged 18 to 28.