Using photography to build self-confidence, reduce isolation, and inform support services for women at risk of offending or reoffending.
Alana House – Parents and Children Together (PACT)
Heritage Lottery Fund
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“I am grateful to discover a new beginning”
“I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone”
‘This was a picture of a nice meal I had with my daughter and her partner. It reminded me of a community venture called ‘Adopt a Grandparent’, where they match you up with someone who may be lonely and who doesn’t have family of their own.
It gives the idea that if anyone in your neighbourhood is in need or going through a bad time, It would be nice to invite them into your home for a lovely meal.’
© Carol 2018 | PhotoVoice | PACT – Alana House |’My View’ | UK