Our Founder, Richard Pendlebury

A brief history of Changing Tunes

1987 Richard Pendlebury is invited by the chaplain at HMP Bristol (then Horfield) to come in and start playing guitar with the men

1997 After 10 years of running workshops at HMP Bristol, the project is formalised and funds are raised for equipment. Within two months, the chapel was fully equipped with a PA and a range of instruments. Groups started meeting regularly on Thursday evenings, led by Richard Pendlebury and Adam Kishtainy.

1998 We move into our second prison - HMP Shepton Mallet.

1999 Changing Tunes wins first and second prize for music performance in the national Koestler Awards

2000 Changing Tunes is registered as a charity

2000 Our first post-release sessions are run with those who wish to carry on with music upon their release

2003 We start our first work in a women's prison - HMP Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire

2012 At this point, Changing Tunes is working in 13 prisons around the South West, and begins expanding to further regions

2013 After national prison closures, Changing Tunes starts work in three new prisons: Ford, Albany, and Cardiff

2013 Changing Tunes expands to the South East, launching our first franchise in London

2014 We host our Wish You Were Here conference to share research from criminologist Prof Shadd Maruna about the effectiveness of our work

2016 Changing Tunes participants receive a record 72 Koestler awards from submissions across most of our prisons

2017 We launch our second franchise, in the Midlands

2017 We celebrate our 30th anniversary!