Addiction, Health, Behaviour Change | CGL

Recovery through performance at HMP Holme House

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Recovery through performance at HMP Holme House

26 September 2018
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Sammy Wilson is a BRCC worker at HMP Holme House, the UK’s first Drug Recovery Prison, where they have been busy celebrating recovery month with a host of activities including taking part in a drama performance to raise awareness of community development to support recovery.

Well that’s a wrap for Recovery month at HMP Holme House and what a month it has been. We have been busy celebrating recovery in so many ways including a remembrance service in the chapel, guest speakers, open meetings and a number of training sessions for both staff and men (with the men here being the first ever group of prisoners to be trained in Acupressure!). However, my favourite part of recovery month had to be the Unlock Drama performance raising awareness to peers and staff about the importance of community development to support recovery.

Ten men took part in the project and in just five days they were able to develop and perform a play which was hilariously funny yet provided important messages to a large audience. Obviously there were some hiccups on the day where men forgot their lines and which scene came next, however this added to the fun of it all.

It proved to be a challenging week, keeping the men focused and the usual regime issues that crop up, but it was all worth it to see the smiles on the men’s faces when they achieved what they had set out to do at the beginning of the week. Some of the participants were sceptical about taking part in the project. However, throughout the week their confidence grew and they took to the stage like true stars. There was no stopping them!!

The feedback we have received from the performance has been absolutely phenomenal including the following quotes from a range of people who were in the audience:

Tyrone Alder, a resident at HMP Holme House, said:

“It put a smile on my face, it was very entertaining. Should do it more often, I’d like to be involved in the next one”

A prison officer at HMP Holme house added:

“I thought it was really good! I can see the benefits of it, we should do it more often. The men were a lot more relaxed when they returned to the house block. For 10/15 minutes it felt like we weren’t in a prison”

And Rachael Clegg, Drug Recovery Prison Manager at HMP Holme House, said:

“This was an excellent piece of work from all involved. I felt as though I was really part of a community. I was proud of all the men/team and felt really fortunate we are able to be involved and try to make more positive changes”

It’s these kind of comments that reminds me on a daily basis why I love my job. I couldn’t have been more proud of everyone who was involved. It’s certainly a memory I will treasure.