Supporting diversity and inclusion through creativity
To mark LGBTQ+ History Month in February 2022, Novus has collaborated with HMPPS Pride in Prisons and Probation (PiPP) to bring an inclusive art project to men, women and young people across the whole prison estate and approved premises.
The project invited Novus learners to explore the theme of belonging and inclusion within the prison and parole services and share their thoughts on what this means to them. The aim of the project is to encourage conversation and discussions amongst learners, working together as a group. The project has also been adapted to enable learners to participate in-cell.
According to Sarah Hartley, Operational Lead for Creative Arts and Families at Novus, “We want to bring LGBTQ+ people and allies together, tying into the LGBTQ+ History Month theme with a collective project to celebrate and inspire belonging and inclusion within HMPPS.”
“While being a great opportunity to flex creatively, we have seen in the past that cultural exercises like this are great at helping to develop a healthy well-being, and the introspective nature of the project assists in the rehabilitation process.”
The use of a broad range of mediums mean that learners are being tasked with taking up new skills and developing a range of abilities that will support them as they build a positive future upon release.
The project is a cross-curriculum opportunity and learners are encouraged to create their postcard sized entries in any medium, including painting, collage, textiles, poetry, song lyrics, personal statement or origami.
All entries will be brought together for a permanent installation at HMPS training college Newbold Revel. Work will also be shared online across Novus and HMPPS PiPP channels, which will allow learner and colleague voices to be shared, breaking down barriers and supporting cohesion.