Two Bury St Edmunds Chess Club members have won an award for creating a chess club in HMP Highpoint, Stradishall.

Steve Ruthen and Laurie Pott began the club six months ago as part of Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), a nationwide programme.

The Ministry of Justice approved the scheme as chess is said to help prisoners learn to concentrate, plan ahead and think about the consequences of their next move.

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The pair were nominated by the prison’s head of learning and skills, Nicola Gibbins.

She said: “Since coming on board Steve and Laurie have gone above and beyond in their delivery.

"Participants talked about how chess had impacted around wider issues such as mental health, a sense of belonging and humility.

"Prisoners seem to be drawing wider lessons from what they are learning on the chessboard.

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"Politeness and courtesy are displayed every week.”

Mr Pott said : “What has really impressed us has been the tremendous desire to improve the men have shown and the amount of hard work and study they are prepared to put in to achieve that."