Our vision is of a world where all prisoners and ex-prisoners can experience the life-enhancing benefits of music-making, especially its power to help them lead crime-free lives

Our mission is to engage prisoners and ex-prisoners in music programmes that unlock their individual potential

We pursue this mission by running long-term music and mentoring programmes in prisons, secure children's homes and post-release

Our music programmes are relational

We use music to build healthy relationships; between our musicians and beneficiaries, between participants themselves and between participants and other people in their lives. Participants become part of our community. Many become ambassadors for us. A former participant is now a Musician-in-Residence. Another is a Trustee.

Our work is trauma-informed

We provide safe spaces for participants to experience the therapeutic benefits of music-making. We have a growing number of case studies where participants have understood something within themselves, by working on songs that resonate with them. These moments of self-discovery can be pivotal, contributing to better wellbeing and positive choices. We also help participants to use music as a tool for self-soothing and release, building healthy coping mechanisms.

Our music programmes are participant-centred

We support participants to work on songs that they connect with and to write, perform and record their own material. Many of our participants become peer-mentors, helping to facilitate our sessions. We regularly consult with our participants to help us evaluate and shape our work. We are working with an Advisory Group of participants to help us develop our programmes in the wake of Covid19 and beyond.

Our work is long-term

For example, our founding partner, HMP Bristol, has hosted our work for over 30 years. We continue to engage participants post-release. We support participants to pursue ‘creative pathways’, supporting them to develop in the long-term. We’re currently supporting three bands to develop and promote their work as independent artists. And whilst we’re in it for the long-haul, we help beneficiaries to be independent. Many go onto ‘give back’. For example, a former beneficiary teaches music at a women’s refuge and several now work in addiction recovery.

We work in partnership

Before the Covid19 enforced lock-down, we were resident at 18 prisons, who we’ve continued to work with during the pandemic, by providing in-cell learning resources. We partner with secure children’s homes, enhancing their curriculum. Partnerships are key to our post-release work. Last year, we launched a music programme at St Mungo’s Recovery College in Bristol, engaging ex-prisoners who are homeless, or in temporary accommodation. This furthers our aim to be joined-up and to grow our impact in a meaningful way.

Our programmes are facilitated by our inspiring team of Musicians-in-Residence.  They are professional musicians with incredible talent and experience. Some of them have lived experience. All of them enact an unconditional belief in the unique potential of every individual. Our musicians are based across the Southwest and South of England, the Midlands and South Wales. This helps us to work across a number of regions, whilst maintaining a close connection to the local communities.

See below for a map of where we work...