Young offenders – working towards happiness

A few months ago I was offered some work delivering art workshops to groups of young offenders. I’ve worked with young people before but not this particular client group and was initially nervous. This wasn’t helped by the fact that I was handed a leaflet from a previous project showing a cartoon depicting a gang hanging out next to the tenants’ hall where we’re based, with one smiling member creepily yielding a knife . In fact the young people I’ve met so far have been thoughtful and on the whole more willing to engage than I’d imagined. The theme of this series is ‘Reparation’ and I’ve decided to work with the groups (they can vary each week) to produce artwork for installation in a community centre. We’re focusing on the theme of Happiness and I’m getting the  participants to explore elements of happiness and how as members of society we can contribute to others’ wellbeing. I’m weaving in discussions based around artwork which explores the impact of  crime on both victims and the person carrying out an offence. I’ll soon post some images of their artwork here which includes felting and drawings.

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