Prisoners at HMP Barlinnie have received a £5,000 grant to produce film and radio content.
Creative Change Collective, a charity that uses the arts and creative processes such as film and theatre to address social challenges, has received the four-figure sum from the National Lottery’s community fund.
Inmates at Scotland’s biggest prison will produce film and radio content that will be broadcast across other prisons.
The charity will use the £5,383 grant to pay for equipment and the project aims to provide prisoners with new skills and to help them make positive choices.
Barlinnie’s ‘Barbed Wireless’ radio station launched in November 2020 aiming to keep prisoners informed about health issues, life skills, rehabilitation, and opportunities following their release.
Mark MacNicol, Creative Change Collective’s project director, said: “This programme is making a huge difference to people trying to turn their lives around in prison and we are delighted to have this support from the National Lottery Community Fund.
“This means we will be able to do more to encourage and support people in prison to learn new skills, develop their confidence and sense of teamwork, and prepare for life outside of prison in a way that makes it less likely they will reoffend.
“We are always looking for new ways to address social issues through the power of the arts and creativity and new partnerships to help us.”
The National Lottery’s fund distributes money raised by players for good causes and is the largest source of community funding in the UK.
Creative Change Collective previously commissioned Scottish writer Chris Dolan, who worked on TV series such as Taggart and River City, to work with prisoners in producing a scripted radio play.
The play was created around the theme of volunteering opportunities after release from prison.
A Scottish Prison Service spokesperson said: “We are delighted that Creative Change Collective has been awarded this funding to support the work they do in HMP Barlinnie.
“Drama can play an important role in helping those in our care build confidence, improve their communication skills, and develop relationships with staff and peers.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Creative Change Collective on this exciting production.”
Most prisons have also experienced a drama therapy programme from the charity called Anonymous Drama, where most of the participants have ‘no interest’ in drama or therapy previously.
The drama therapy is also delivered to those serving community sentences and in residential rehabilitation units for people in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions.
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