Birmingham & Black Country

HMP Featherstone prisoners create stove

Image caption The stove includes a stainless steel tank that provides a ready source of safe, clean water

A stove designed to help prevent people in developing countries from suffering the effects of smoke inhalation has been created at a West Midlands prison.

Inmates from HMP Featherstone, near Wolverhampton, have teamed up with British inventor Peter Morrison to make the "Featherstove".

The stove diverts harmful fumes through its chimney and produces clean water.

The World Health Organization estimates there are 1.9m premature deaths per year due to people inhaling smoke.

Almost half of the world's population still cook and heat their homes using solid fuels in open fires and rudimentary stoves.

The invention is the result of the prison's Eureka programme, an employment course which aims to tackle reoffending behaviour.

It is the first product developed by the scheme and is set to be manufactured within the prison's workshops.

'Contribute positively'

Maxwell-John Cox, who is currently on the programme, said: "To know that I could use my time in prison to positively impact on the world and change lives of those less fortunate than myself is a very humbling experience.

"It has broadened my understanding of the world and given me a genuine hope for the future."

Peter Morrison, the 2003 and 2004 winner of British Inventor of the Year, has helped to shape the patented design.

He said: "There are lots of great ideas that die because knowledge on how to progress from concept to reality is daunting.

"This programme gives the participants these skills which in turn help them build their self-esteem and equipping them to contribute positively to their communities and the local economy on their release."

The prison holds more than 650 category C inmates - considered dangerous but unlikely to escape - who are serving sentences ranging from three years to life.