Multi Stakeholder Hearing
What a way to end a project! A multi stakeholder meeting bringing together criminal justice practitioners, educators, mental health practitioners and Psychologists but best of all young women in prison who so generously shared their personal experiences and made their VOICES heard! Merseyside Expanding Horizons attended Askham Grange Prison, an event to highlight the need for additional custodial facilities for girls, share the challenges and complexities of working with girls in the justice System and exchange personal and professional experiences.
This event provided an opportunity to display the impactful activity carried out during The VOICE Project, sharing project activities, key findings and recommendations and more importantly lessons learned. This event, attended by almost 70 participants, actively listened to experts by experience sharing the challenges of prison and how they could be better supported going forward.
Participants had the privilege to listen to testimonials of lived experience from a personal and professional perspective. Moreover, participants were able to ask questions, a unique opportunity to have such insight into the reality of being in custody. Additionally the event was framed with key research surrounding girls in custody, mental health and self-harm and interestingly the impact of the menstrual cycle.
This event has provided a platform for Merseyside Expanding Horizons are working together to raise awareness of the importance of having a voice and being heard using a co-productive approach, removing hierarchy, welcoming reciprocity to make impactful change upon organisations, individuals and communities.
Everything about this event was worthwhile, the participation in the room was electric, flip charts were filled, networking was in full swing and a real testament to the event was that not one person left early; in fact they were still deep in conversation after the event ended. Although this could be attributed to the continuous flow of chip sandwiches!