14 Jun 2017
A Glasgow-based charity that uses music to help criminal offenders re-integrate into society is singing a little louder thanks to a funding boost from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE).
Vox Liminis (Vox) runs initiatives across Scotland designed to rehabilitate those within the criminal justice system. Their approach uses creative arts techniques, such as song writing, to help members communicate and connect with their peers. UKSE has backed the organisation with a grant of £2,500 for its ‘Unbound’ project.
The Unbound project is a weekly meeting for ex-offenders to create music and receive the support from a specialist team of people. As well as musicians and former prisoners, the group consists of criminologists, people with experience of community sentences and social workers, who together have created a community in which to express themselves creatively. Through collaboration and engagement, the participants are able to improve their confidence, communication and mental wellbeing, backed by the encouragement needed to successfully integrate or re-integrate into wider community.
Vox also runs photography, film and art programmes, which are available for both people with convictions and their families. It continues to work closely with the prison service, offering workshops to those still incarcerated as well as those serving non-custodial community sentences.
Alison Urie, Vox Liminis founder, said: “Music is a powerful tool, which is capable of bringing people together in a way that other forms of communication cannot. At Vox, we do not judge people based on their past or their artistic ability. Indeed, we have found that when it comes to creating music, everyone has something to bring to the process, whether its ideas for the theme of the song, creative writing skills or an ability to complete a few chords on the guitar.
“Research shows that people are less likely to re-offend if they have a positive support network. The funding provided by UKSE will be used to create exactly that; a safe haven for those looking to turn their lives around and I am hugely grateful for their support.”
Scott Webb, regional executive at UKSE, said: “Those with previous convictions often struggle to find employment, a circumstance which has the potential to perpetuate the cycle of criminal activity. By encouraging self-expression, emotionally and creatively, Vox provides individuals with the tools needed to break patterns of exclusion. It is an absolutely fantastic project, which UKSE is proud to be a part of.”
Pictured: Lisa Howe, Vox; Scott Webb, UKSE; Rollo Strickland, Vox; Dave Shea, Vox and Alison Urie, Vox.