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Creative Resettlement

"A creative programme for (ex)/offenders combining the arts and education."

For more information about our workshop programme


This programme encourages people to think about:

What successful resettlement looks like for themselves

What their own personal barriers might be

What support systems and skills are available to them


Increase skills, accreditation and opportunities for work

Improve well-being, confidence and self-esteem

Increase resilience and conflict resolution techniques

Increase access to the arts

Reduce risk of re-offending

Prepare participants for the future


Each programme can be tailored and adapted to the needs of the establishment and participants:

6 to 8 sessions per project

5 to 15 participants per project

Ideally involvement with participant’s family or alternative support network

We require partners to recruit participants in advance

Partner staff on site and available throughout project

Partner support gathering relevant data / evidence for evaluation

This programme has been successfully delivered in a number of prisons and secure units.


Costs depend on:

Additional / specific requirements of partner

Location / travel / accommodation needs

Evaluation depth / requirements

Number of preparatory meetings required

Requests for additional staff

Number of sessions / days delivering

Usually between £1,150 and £1,900.

The project is normally delivered over 3 days and designed specifically for prisons or services for ex-offenders.

We work with the participants to devise theatre from their own experiences. This is developed by involving them in games, discussion, role-play, mime and image theatre. The workshops enable them to explore their feelings and experiences and the challenges or ‘oppressions’ they face. We explore alternative solutions to problems and barriers through role-play and discussion and support people to reflect on their own personal challenges in a safe way.

All our projects culminate in a performance back to staff, peers and/or family members. Participants share the themes and learning completed through the project enabling a deeper sense of achievement and learning. Throughout our courses we accredit participants with ASDAN awards in relevant life skills such as Independent living, Leadership and Expressive Arts.

All our practice is underpinned by: Restorative Approaches; Non-Violent communication and Trauma Informed Approaches.

This programme is a direct result of two recent pieces of Odd Arts work which have been evaluated and proved effective respectively by UCLAN and MMU.

Manchester Metropolitan Criminology and Youth Justice Research Team have completed a recent evaluation on our approach which noted:

Odd Arts approach can be understood as an effective mechanism for preparing beneficiaries for future peer interaction within and beyond periods of resettlement, as well as a powerful method of engaging them in mutual peer experiential learning, which has an added value to existing support and guidance mechanisms.

The data demonstrates several key points, which were valued. The key points relating to beneficiaries include:

  • Development of confidence
  • Increased ability to work in diverse groups
  • Development of peer support / education
  • Development of empathy

In addition other emergent points, which were prevalent, include:

  • Expertise and professionalism of Odd Arts staff
  • Odd Arts approach (gamification in applied arts based intervention / quasi-covert theme embedded in programme)

The full report can be found via the Arts Alliance Evidence Library: Applied Performance Arts Interventions with Justice Services: Moving ‘Forward’ toward an integrated sustainable evaluative approach. (Dr Richard McHugh and Professor Hannah Smithson 2017/18)

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