My View

Participatory photography with women at risk of offending or re-offending

PROJECT SUMMARY:
Using photography to build self-confidence, reduce isolation, and inform support services for women at risk of offending or reoffending.

Year:
2018 2019

Project Location:
Reading, UK

Project Managers:
Kate Watson

Facilitators:
Kate Watson

Partners:
Alana House – Parents and Children Together (PACT)

Funder:
Heritage Lottery Fund

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Project description: 
Alana House provides an inclusive and non-judgemental space where women are supported and enabled to address particular behaviour, and assess life circumstances that may have put them in a vulnerable position or at risk of offending. Women are offered information and support to help empower them to make positive life changes, develop new skills and create new opportunities.  

Source: www.pactcharity.org 

This PhotoVoice project formed one of the development courses which Alana House provides for its members, consisting of 2 phases of 6-week workshops, in which participants produced their own photographic and narrative-based work. This work was developed through activities that explored themes such as community, identity, support and communication. 


The issue:
Women at risk of offending or reoffending often have multiple or complex support needs which can put them in a vulnerable position or increase the risk of reoffending. Due to their vulnerability, they may require support for a range of needs, including employment prospects, education, stable accommodation, addictions, parenting skills and reducing anti-social and criminal behaviour.

‘My View’ helps to build skills and self-confidence and reduce isolation by providing engaging and participatory photographic activities which explore identity and community.


Delivery:
Over two workshop phases, each lasting six weeks, a total of eight women took part in participatory photography workshops which focused on creatively expressing their experiences and perspectives. The structured curriculum uncovered a diversity and range of experience which fed in to insightful discussions around ‘home’ and ‘community’.

In both phases, participants were encouraged to build on these discussions to develop their ideas with their peer group, with the aim of developing self-confidence, self-worth and reducing isolation. These ideas will be used to provide insight to professionals working for PACT – Alana House and wider sector support services.


Project Outputs:
Through weekly workshops, participants explored technical photography skills, visual literacy, portraiture and storytelling. Participants have been supported to produce their own photographic and narrative based photography.

A culmination of their efforts will be exhibited in 2019, at The Oracle, where a number of participant images have been curated for public display.

Participant Feedback:
“I am grateful to discover a new beginning.”
 
“I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone.”


Header Image: © Clare 2018 | PhotoVoice | PACT – Alana House |’My View’ | UK

“As I walk, I hear the buzz of chatting voices,
I smell the food from nearby restaurants.

I can almost taste it,
I missed breakfast getting my children ready for school.

A leaf lying on its own,
I wonder how it came to be there.”

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