Posted on 23rd December 2019

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner has awarded a grant to a charity which uses performing arts to support serving prisoners.

Funding from PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities Fund will support Fallen Angels Dance Theatre to deliver a dance programme for Cheshire inmates at HMP Berwyn in North Wales.

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The group supports people in recovery from addiction and poor mental health to transform their lives, and to share their recovery journey with the wider public, through dance, performance and creativity. They offer a structured pathway to promote recovery, through participation in community workshops and progression to volunteering and live performance.

This particular project will see Paul Bayes Kitcher, an artistic director in recovery from addiction himself, deliver a six-week dance theatre project within the Wrexham prison. It will support residents to gain a sense of resilience and well-being in order for them to realise the power that movement and dance expression can have on their recovery.

The group also hopes to use the project to develop referral pathways, encouraging inmates to get involved in their resident activities at the Storyhouse in Chester once they return to the community.

PCC David Keane said: “Providing a positive activity for prisoners to engage in as they are about to leave prison and when they integrate back into the community will help reduce reoffending.

“Fallen Angles do a fantastic job working with hard-to-reach individuals who wouldn’t usually engage with performing arts. Their activities help offenders or other people with complex needs engage in an alternative form of recovery which they can hopefully sustain long-term.

“I look forward to seeing how this project will help people turn their lives around and bring an end to their criminal activity.”

Claire Morris, from Fallen Angels, added: “We are extremely grateful that PCC David Keane is supporting this project which will make a real difference to Cheshire residents residing in HMP Berwyn.

“The workshops will educate residents to make positive and healthier choices and give them an alternative to crime and anti-social behaviour. Furthermore, the support will not stop when they are released as they’ll be able to access our dance workshops in Storyhouse along with a self-support group for adults with complex needs.”

Fallen Angels is one of hundreds of organisations across Cheshire which has received Safer Communities Funding over the last few years to support crime prevention or meet the objectives within the commissioner’s police and crime plan.