One Spirit is a creative arts project for young offenders which engages participants in a skills development and rehabilitation programme designed to prevent reoffending by:
> developing personal, interpersonal, functional and employability skills whilst serving time in prison;
> sustaining this development by supporting them on their release back into the community and helping them towards successful rehabilitation and pathways to training, education and employment.
In partnership with
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One Spirit “Through the Gate” has been working in HMYOI Feltham since 2010 led by Hiphology Director Charlie Parker.
Using a framework of music and creative arts activities, including drama, song-writing, music business (management/finance), One Spirit delivers an alternative curriculum, which enhances personal well-being and teaches/develops a range of skills from accredited key skills such as literacy (creative writing, CV writing), numeracy (finance) to self-exploratory: confidence, communication, teamwork and social interaction, self-analysis, problem solving, presentation, life-planning and entrepreneurial skills in preparation for the workplace.
The project is delivered inside Feltham through week long intensive courses, during which time artist facilitators build relationships with participants that serve as the foundation for continued one to one contact in a mentor/mentee relationship throughout the participant's prison life and continue through the transition of their release back into the community.
Charlie studied drama at Hull University and worked for a while in rep theatre at the same time as developing a career as a musician - guitar and saxophone. Music took over, and Charlie subsequently embarked on a music career that has led to success in industry, education and community. Co founder of the UKs most wanted hip hop group - 57 Dynasty - Charlie produced award winning albums and consequently developed a presence as a producer working in the US, Jamaica and Europe. His education work has led him to start up his own organisation HIPHOLOGY and over the last 5 years make a return to his drama roots as a practitioner. Charlie has been leading One Spirit since 2009.
One Projects BBC News item
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Without the project I would be back in jail. It's turned me into a philosopher to look at my life & see other kids at risk and see how they can stop themselves doing the same thing.
Mentee interviewed by Children in Need 2012
It's funny, I didn't think doing this music thing would help me, but now it's really got me wanting to use my mechanic skills and open my own garage.
Participant HMYOI Feltham 2012
You showed me new ways of listening to music. Before I just thought a tune was either good or not, but now I don't listen like a fan, more like someone who knows what they're doing. I'll definitely holler you when I get out.
Participant HMYOI Feltham 2011
Thank you for the fantastic project. Staff, students, and visitors were truly impressed. It was great to see you have developed a model that perfectly supports our new curriculum. We have already seen positive changes re confidence and behaviour in our learners since the event - further evidence of the project's success. Looking forward to our continued partnership.