Our advocacy work
We’ve developed considerable experience and relationships within the fields of criminal justice, mental health, social justice and community music-making, and are committed to using this expertise to advocate for the people we support, on a strategic and policy level.
Our Executive Director sits on the Steering Group of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance and we use our membership of the following networks to advocate for the transformative power of communal music-making:
We carry out consultations and focus groups with service-users, delivery partners and government officials to shape our program delivery in response to current needs and agendas.
We are proactive about submitting responses to national surveys and policy papers, e.g. the recent Coates’ Review, the Private Investment in Culture Survey, and Culture White Paper. And following our submission to the Coates Review, a past-participant was invited to represent Good Vibrations at one of the government’s consultation workshops on prison education reform.
Good Vibrations … encouraged me to join the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliances Steering Group, further helping me to use my experiences and energy in a practical, positive way. In my time as part of the steering group, my knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system has improved greatly … I hope to make a difference to those who … feel like there’s no way of moving on.
A participant, 2016
We widely disseminate research and evaluation findings on our work, to share what we have learnt, with the aim of improving future commissioning strategies, policy and therefore conditions, and life chances for the people we support.
- Nine pieces of research on our work have been published on the UK’s online library for arts projects in the criminal justice sector.
- A case study about one of our past-participants was presented in a recent Using the Arts as A Driver for Equality Guide.
- A case study on our work with men convicted of sexual offences was selected for inclusion in a 2016 Arts in Criminal Justice Commissioning Guide.
We advocate for the needs of our service-users, and the efficacy of our approach when we host visits from academics, students, policy makers and commissioners.
- We hosted the Big Lottery Fund in 2015 to inform their future grant-giving programmes for people experiencing mental health issues
- We regularly host post-graduate students in relation to their studies
- We host musicians from Sound Connections’ Work Shadowing Scheme to develop their practice further
Round tables and advisory groups
In 2016 we took part in ministerial round tables on ‘Arts, Health and Wellbeing in the Criminal Justice System’ and ‘The Role of Arts in Prisons’, and in 2017 we were invited to take part in an Arts Council England round table looking at how we measure quality and success.
We participate in ‘Arts Practice Development Groups’ and ‘Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Groups’ run by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service.
Events and conferences
Much of our advocacy work is carried out at conferences. For example, we have recently run workshops and presented at The International Centre for Community Music Conference, The International Society for Music Education Conference, and The Centre for Education in the Criminal Justice System Conference.
We like to positively-influence public attitudes and give our participants a platform through high-profile events and award schemes:
- Two of our participants won Koestler Awards in 2016. Hear their award-winning creations: I Don’t Know Much and Conducted Improvisation
- New spoken word pieces, created by our participants, have been exhibited to 1000s of people at The Southbank Centre, The Royal College of Music and Rich Mix Arts Centre between 2015 and 2017. Listen: Audio Exhibition Loop
- In 2015, we performed at an event for dignitaries and ambassadors at The House of Commons
BBC Indonesia, National Prison Radio and a variety of local radio stations and newspapers have supported us to reach wide, new audiences and tell them about gamelan and the benefits Good Vibrations can bring. This clip is on our founder, Cathy Eastburn, and is part of the BBC’s 100 Women Series.