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From last week’s project at HMP Whatton…

One of last week’s partiicpants at Whatton Prison started the project very reluctantly.  Initially he refused to move from the doorway, as he thought he would probably want to leave straight away. However he slowly relaxed and joined in, and enjoyed the process of creating music with the others and working together towards the final performance.  Despite being absolutely terrified of speaking in front of other people, he volunteered to speak at Friday’s performance.  He ran through it beforehand with the GV facilitator, shaking with nerves and breaking down midway.  But for the performance itself, his reading was loud and clear:

“Before i came to this group I never really mixed or talked to anyone. I have always been that way, so for me this was hard. Just being in this room with others made me feel sick. So for me this is a big thing. Being with people still makes me feel that way, but being here and the encouragement I have received from the other band members has helped me with some of my anxieties. At the start of this week I would never have been able or had the courage to stand here before you and talk. So for me this is a small step to something that I can build on for the future.

“I believe that music is a great way of giving inmates a welcome break from the mundane lives we lead, and the fact that it is in no way offence-related is a refreshing change that I think we all need from time to time.

“So I would like to thank [the group and GV] for their help and for giving me the opportunity to do this, and for giving me the courage to use my voice, albeit a small one. I hope that Good Vibrations will be invited back many times so they can help others the way they have helped me.

Thank you all for listening.”



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Photography by Toby Madden/The Independent, Osman Deen/South London Press, Camilla Panufnik, Elspeth Van Der Hole, GDA Design, Gigi Chiying Lam, G. Bland, Alan Bryden, Mark Carlin, Rachel Cherry, Francois Boutemy, Andy Hollingworth, Rebaz Yassin, and Guy Smallman.

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