Hector Bizerk to Inspire Young People at Polmont Young Offenders Institution

Thu 16th June 2016

Scottish Album of the Year nominees Hector Bizerk are set to play a special gig – at Polmont Young Offenders Institution on 31.05.16. The hip-hop duo Louie and Audrey will take to the stage in a newly built performance space housed within the prison.

The gig is being organised by Impact Arts, a community arts charity whose mission is to help people and communities change their lives through the arts. The charity runs a programme called COCO in partnership with Barnardo’s Scotland which helps use music and creativity as part of their rehabilitation. Working with experienced musicians, young people are given the opportunity to learn how to play the guitar and write and record songs, and all aspects of DJ-ing.

So why teach music to young people in HMYOI Polmont? Well it can help them learn new creative skills and gain a sense of purpose, in addition to improving communication skills and confidence. It could even inspire them to the option of a future in the creative industries. Another important element is the recognition of talent – the young men are encouraged to build a repertoire of music and to work towards a finale performance for friends and family. This has a doubly positive effect – they can feel a real sense of achievement, whilst their friends and families can be proud of the positive changes they have made.

Fiona Doring, Acting Director Impact Arts said: “We’re incredibly excited to bring Hector Bizerk to Polmont. Not only are they incredible musicians at the top of their game, but Louie and Audrey also have a background in community art and are extremely passionate about social justice.

“There has been a lot of positive coverage of the impact that creative experiences can have on reducing re-offending, and that is exactly what we hope to achieve at Polmont. Hector Bizerk are one of the most exciting bands in Scotland and with their wry, witty lyrics, they have something to say that I think will have a really positive, inspiring influence on the young men in their audience.”

Within the music project, Impact Arts liaise with Barnardo’s, a children’s charity that provides youth work support in the prison.

The project is funded by the Youth Music Initiative, a national programme which is in its 12th year of operation. The programme offers music provision to young men in custody through group work, individual sessions and masterclasses. The fund is administered by Creative Scotland.

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