Billy is Low Moss guitar hero

Inmates at Low Moss Prison will be tuning up for a string of music lessons thanks to a generous donation from singer/songwriter Billy Bragg.

He’s sent six guitars to the Bishopbriggs jail as part of a scheme to help rehabilitate offenders.

The Jail Guitar Doors initiative has been donating guitars to prisons since 2007.

The scheme has alreadyprovided a number of guitars to prisons across Scotland, including Cornton Vale, Glenochil, Greenock, Kilmarnock, Barlinnie and Polmont.

Billy said: “Offenders are sent to prison to be rehabilitated and we believe that learning to play guitar can help encourage engagement in that process.

“Findings suggest that low self-esteem plays a big part in re-offending. We aim to counter that by giving them a social skill that helps build self-esteem, namely playing the guitar.

“The demand for instruments suggest that inmates are keen to get involved.”

At the NME Awards in March 2007, the musician and activist announced the formation of Jail Guitar Doors, in the hope of finding support to help him carry out the programme.

Former Clash guitarist, Mick Jones, was quick to offer his assistance and since then the initiative has donated to more than 20 prisons in the UK.

The programme takes its name from the b-side of the Clash’s 1978 single ‘Clash City Rockers’.

On a post on his website, Billy Bragg wrote: “The average cost per prison is less than £500, an amount which could be raised at a benefit concert by any band or artist that can draw a crowd.

“I’m asking musicians, particularly those of you who were inspired by the Clash, to raise funds to help inmates take the first steps towards rehabilitation”

HMP Low Moss have confirmed that they have received the guitars.

A spokesperson from the Scottish Prison Service said: “We welcome the donation from Billy Bragg.

“These guitars will be used to support a range of education programmes and activities delivered at the prison.”

If you are interested in getting involved you can contact via www.jailguitardoors.co.uk