Nov 26, 2019

'I have a chink in my heart that is now open'

At the end of October we delivered RESTORE to a group of women in HMP Peterborough. Listening to the voices of those who take part in the programme gives us a great insight into how we can further adapt RESTORE to meet the complex and evolving needs of those in prison. We’d love to share with you the thoughts of the women who experienced RESTORE in October.

What was the most useful part of the course?

‘Hearing people’s stories – we got a better understanding of putting ourselves in others’ shoes.’

‘Talking about what happened in my life helped me understand why I have done certain things.’

‘Realising no one is totally alone.’

‘Listening to stories – especially S [part of RESTORE team] who is an ex offender – it proves you can turn your life around.’

Has the course helped you think differently about your life?

‘I feel more positive.’

‘It has changed my perspective on a range of things.’

‘Yes, the course helped me see things differently about life – and the victim’s perspective.’

‘Yes, I know I can forgive sometimes, and I can be restored.’

‘Yes, I have never really looked at myself in a kind way.’

‘To value every day.’

‘It has made me see that I am worth more but I have to make changes in my life.’ 

Is there anything else you would like to say?

‘The facilitators together with the officer were so encouraging and supportive.’

‘I don’t really like feelings, but I have a chink in my heart that is now open.’

‘I would love to do this course again.’

‘Thank you.’


One more thing! Tuesday 3rd December is Giving Tuesday, a day to show your support for the causes you care about. This time of year is incredibly hard for those in prison. Whether it’s the first year having Christmas inside or the tenth, spending this time of the year without friends and family can be isolating and disorientating. Please consider making a donation to this project this Giving Tuesday, and if you can’t, please share our work with your friends, family and colleagues!

Oct 10, 2019

'A beautiful and challenging call to action'


The F Word has had a busy summer, visiting Stockport and Manchester! We’d love to share with you some of the feedback from the communities it visited.

‘Deeply, deeply moving, truthful, human, and profound.’

‘So glad this exhibition has come to Manchester. Although the stories are of past atrocities, violence still goes on and this project needs to be seen by all.’

‘I deeply admire all these testimonies; this whole exhibition will stay in the mind for a very long time indeed.’

‘Wonderful project and so vital in today’s hurting world. Thank you.’

‘A beautiful and challenging call to action: I find myself humbled and empowered to take the next step of forgiveness. Thank you for the powerful work.’

‘Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to read such exceptional stories.’

‘What an amazingly powerful exhibition – the stories of forgiveness are truly inspiring and challenge us all to think about the ways we respond to those who wrong us.’

‘Absorbing, engrossing, emotional, moving, complex – these are my first impressions! What I have seen and read will stay with me, it is to be pondered and considered.’

We are excited that The F Word is currently on display at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, London! The exhibition will be on display until 18th November. During this time, St Martin-in-the-Fields will be running their autumn lecture series ‘The Quality of Mercy’. Please pay them a visit and explore the powerful stories of forgiveness found in The F Word. Click here for details.

Would you like to bring The F Word to your community? Or just want some more information? Please get in touch with Sarah at exhibition@theforgivenessproject.com.

Aug 29, 2019

The Threads that Connect Us All

A key part of RESTORE is supporting women to explore and share their stories. For many women in prison who themselves are often victims of serious crimes, they have never shared their traumatic experiences with anyone and have expressed the lack of space to do this in prison with one women who participated in RESTORE commenting, '[RESTORE] is pretty much the only safe space we have in here'.


The use of creative tools such as visual art and poetry are essential elements of RESTORE and empowers the women to map their story in a way unique to them. We’d love to share with you one of the poems written by a women on the programme last week. We hope that by reading this, you will gain a deeper understanding of not only what makes her story unique, but also of the things we all have in common.

 

I am the person that never spreads lies,

I am the person who always hides.

I hide my pain, my hurt, the broken me no one will see.

 

I am not the type of person who will share,

So when I do just don’t judge and glare.

Give me a chance to show the real me.

The soft hearted, kind and sweet as can be.

 

My biggest downfall is when I drink,

I just don’t think, I don’t remember anything.

When I get drink in me, I become someone I don’t want to be.

Secretly I become as violent as my daddy, and that’s the person I don’t want to be.

 

I try to be strong, I have for so long

All my family think is I am wrong and do wrong.

But watch me prove them wrong

by staying strong

and becoming a new me that have never seen.

I want to be the old Natalie, who never got in trouble

Who stayed in her good own little bubble.

 

I promise to be a better me.

When I get out of prison I’ll prove my family I have vision.

 

So I have one thing to say,

Don’t judge me or anyone when you don’t know what they have been through

They might have the same story as you.

 

Thank you so much for supporting this project! Could we ask you one more thing? Please share this report with a friend, colleague or family member and help bring awareness to this project so that we can continue supporting some of the most marginalised women in our society. Thank you.

 
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