Children whose dads are in custody worked with singer songwriter Beccy Owen and musician Will Lang to co-create 4 songs: Dear Me, Gone, We March On and Cyclone. These songs openly share their experiences of seeing their dads in prison and living with the situation day in day out.
Dads in HMP Kirklevington Grange listened to the songs and were inspired to use them as the basis for a toolkit of creative activities. They worked with Hope London and staff from Nepacs to co-design Hidden Voices to stimulate conversations about underlying issues, reflect on behaviours, promote empathy, increase understanding and ultimately help rebuild family relationships and resilience.
Think you can’t sing or draw a straight line? Hidden Voices has been designed with you in mind. No previous experience of arts activities is needed. Clear step by step guidance is given. The pick n mix modular structure of Hidden Voices allows for flexible delivery. It can be used with individuals, groups and with whole families. Everything you need is in one kitbag.
Hidden Voices was created and disseminated in January 2018.
Get in touch if you’d like to find out about it and how it can be used.
Read what Alison Frater, Chair of National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance wrote about Hidden Voices.
After exploring ‘What’s next for the arts in Criminal Justice?’ at the Alliance’s 2017 annual conference, we are looking forward to Hidden Voices supporting their work in normalising arts delivery in prisons across the North East.
The damaging impacts of imprisonment are often felt most keenly by the children and young people who make up the forgotten victims. The development and testing of Hidden Voices was independently evaluated by Barefoot Research and Evaluation who found that the project offers a valuable and valid approach to damage mitigation. Read their report here
We were delighted to receive a certificate of excellence at Nepacs 2018 awards ceremony from Marc Baker, HM Inspectorate of Probation.
Artists Sally Pilkington (Morph Creative) and Hope London were particularly delighted to catch up with one of the mums of some of our participants. Her sons had worked with musicians Will Lang and Beccy Owen to write their own songs which highlighted the challenges of life when your dad is in prison. Their mum said Hidden Voices had continued to have a positive impact on her sons.