Liberty Choir

Liberty Choir

At a glance

Causes

  • Criminal justice

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
National - England

Objectives

Liberty Choir is a national charity bringing members of the public into prisons across the UK to sing with our choir of exceptional musical directors, accompanists and prisoners every week. Our sessions are designed to help develop prisoners’ skills and self-confidence, open up the world of arts through singing and provide access to new social networks when they re-enter the wider community.

 

Each week, individuals who have never had an opportunity to have their voice heard will be able to to spend two hours finding their voice, finding hope and experience belonging to leave each session calmer and more able to cope with the prison regime. Prisoners are also encouraged to interact with our musical directors and volunteers, which in turn promotes a stronger sense of validation and self-worth as well as providing a support network for them in the case they are having any issues.

 

The atmosphere created by our choir sessions has helped prisoners bond with one other, reducing the peer pressures that comes with being in prison. Prison officers have also said that prisoners are easier to handle after a choir session with the benefits to mental health lasting way beyond the weekly two-hour sessions. Family members have also shared the benefits our programmes have had on their loved ones.

 

Since 2014, Liberty Choir has worked with over 100 volunteers in 6+ prisons across the UK and have since been in touch with over 70 former prisoners who have not reoffended, at a rate of 12 graduates per year.

Activities

All year round, our volunteers come into prison and commit to singing weekly (or regularly) alongside the prisoners. This combination of singers makes up Liberty Choir. Aside from singing, our sessions also provide prisoners with a rounded insight into music theory and history, creating an awareness of music being representative of a wider social context. Prisoners are then provided with the opportunity to perform their learnings to their friends, family and more during our Friends and Family concert series.

 

After their sentence, former prisoners, or Liberty Choir graduates, are welcome to join our community choirs across the UK and sing with them at events and locations including Brighton Fringe, Royal Festival Hall, V&A Museum and more. Alternatively, they can also just stay in touch as we offer friendship and support to them post-release.

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