Custom Search 1

Prison inmates help design safe stove

UPLIFTING: (From left) Ricky Dehaney of Prison Link West Midlands, inventor Peter Morrison, Dr Andrew Mubo Eniola, Ibrahim Abdurrahman Michika of IAM Property and Development Ltd Nigeria, and Tony Tindale, director of LIFE employment initiative

A PRODUCTION line could soon be up and running at a West Midlands prison as pioneering inmates have helped to design a stove that will be a lifeline for thousands of families in developing countries.

Prisoners at HMP Featherstone in Wolverhamp-ton have teamed up with award-winning inventor Peter Morrison to create the ‘Featherstove’, which is fitted with a chimney that diverts harmful fumes to the exterior of families’ homes. It also has a unique built-in water tank that can boil and sanitise water.

The World Health Organisation estimates that almost two million people die prematurely each year from the effects of inhaling harmful smoke and fumes.

The invention is a result of the prison’s Eureka Programme, an employment course in partnership with Manchester College, which aims to prepare prisoners for life and work after they finish their sentences.

The Featherstove has attracted immense interest from Nigeria, where thousands of families still cook and heat their homes using open fires and basic stoves. It is estimated that 1.5 million Nigerians suffer from conditions caused by fume inhalation.

Dr Andrew Mubo Eniola, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development in Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria, travelled from his country to be at the official Featherstove launch at HMP Featherstone.
He said: “This stove would be invaluable and I intend to do everything possible to promote this and make sure it gets to the grass roots level where it is needed in Nigeria."

“Premature deaths from smoke inhalation are a real problem in our country, and unsafe stoves are a great fire hazard.”

Dr Eniola praised the ‘sponsor a stove’ scheme, where companies or individuals will be able to cover the cost of building and shipping a Featherstove to a family in need of safe cooking equipment.

Peter Morrison, the creator of the internationally recognised Leaf Log, an eco-friendly fuel, became involved with HMP Featherstone after completing a Prison Link volunteer course. Morrison won British Inventor of the Year in 2003 and 2004.

Funded by the Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Service, Prison Link helps to resettle offenders back into the community.

Peter, who runs Solas Consultants Ltd, which helps businesses bring their ideas to life, said: “I take my hat off to the team of prisoners who have shown just what can be achieved. I know many times they were about to give up on the idea, but they didn’t.

“We are looking at ways in which we can help those prisoners who have put in so much to the project once they leave prison. This project gives them the skills which help them to build their self-esteem and equip them to contribute positively to their communities and the local economy on their release.”

One of the team of eight inmates – who didn’t know each other before starting the project – admitted that the idea had initially seemed like ‘a crazy joke’, but they started to work together and build cardboard models of the stove.

One of them said: “We can’t thank Peter enough for giving us this idea and giving us something to work on together. He’s been a role model. We’ve been able to make something a reality while helping people in the developing world. It’s been a very humbling but uplifting experience, and it’s shown us the importance of teamwork.”

The prisoners involved in the creation of the new stove attended the official launch. After which they helped to cook spicy marinated chicken on the Featherstove and served it to guests.

For details on sponsoring a stove contact Peter Morrison at

Subscribe to The Voice database!

We'd like to keep in touch with you regarding our daily newsletter, Voice competitions, promotions and marketing material and to further increase our reach with The Voice readers.

If interested, please click the below button to complete the subscription form.

We will never sell your data and will keep it safe and secure.

For further details visit our privacy policy.

You have the right to withdraw at any time, by clicking 'Unsubscribe'.