Only Connect – 2012
Only Connect is a private members’ club for prisoners, ex-offenders and youth at risk. Only Connect’s members do three things:
Create – members produce and perform in arts projects including theatre, film and music. Art reaches the heart, engaging people who have struggled in conventional education but who have a talent for expression. Creative projects require all the disciplines of life – teamwork, working towards a goal, taking direction, and inhabiting roles – in a non-formal setting with an emphasis on personal discovery.
Belong – The causes of crime and social breakdown are relational – a lack of the right support, in the home or in the community, when we’re growing up. OC involves its members in a positive community of people (staff, volunteers and the members themselves), making a place of safety and hope. They host weekly social evenings, as well as theatre trips, family days and weekends away.
Impact – OC’s members are talented, charismatic and inspiring: natural leaders with great potential to influence young people. They deliver arts-based crime prevention projects in schools and youth groups across London – speaking into students’ lives with authority and conviction, and finding a value and a redemptive purpose for all their own mistakes and misdemeanours.