Letters and feedback from prisoners and their families

“I had never looked twice at a choir because of its religious connotations and I never knew I would enjoy singing in in a group/choir so much. But with your time, energy, passion and influence – you have truly changed me for the better. You are right! It is a beautiful escape , even if only for a few hours. Many times I am reduced to tears of joy your volunteers are so helpful, friendly and kind. Keep up the outstanding work!”
Wandsworth Liberty Choir

Verse from song composed by a Liberty Choir singer
“I have my voice, I have my voice/ They cannot bar me from myself/I have a choice/ I choose to love, I choose to grow/ I will recall myself to life/ And this I’ll show.”

“Singing has given me confidence. I am on a high after choir. I feel better able to cope with other guys etc. It is helping me to meet a new circle of people and make friends.’ ‘I really enjoyed the songs, really liked Broadway Blast. I’d never sung before and now I sing with confidence.”
Liberty Choir singer

” I was proud as hell to be part of it and my partner enjoyed it, too. I’m a man of few words but inside I’m as proud as hell.”
Family and Friends concert, feedback

” MJ is right, the choir is not about singing or dancing. It is about the people who take part and it is also about giving a positive outlet to those inside HMP and hopefully something to do when leaving the prison; singing and dancing with the community choirs. Now every time I think of the choir, I smile ….and so does my hubby. That’s what the choir meant to me.”
Wife of Liberty Choir singer

” I wanted to say Thank You for bringing a lot of joy when things were so bleak….”

“….thanks for all the love and happiness you have shown me. I love the choir and all the special way of learning music.”
T, HMP Wandsworth

In thanks for the Family and Friends concert, June 2018, at HMP Wandsworth

” I only have these melancholy words to express my thanks, I wish I can say thank you to all in a way that is different, but where I am, that is all I have. Only know that this bright day in this dark place will never be forgotten.”

W, HMP Wandsworth

Liberty Singer

“I have joined the choir” W said.” But I can’t sing and I don’t want to dance.” I didn’t know what to say to that. In the following weeks every time we talked, it was about the choir, the music pieces, the songs, the movements ….But what I really heard was, he is happy when he is at choir and afterward.”
Wife of Liberty Choir singer

“This feels like I’ve got a newfound family that I never knew I had. I’m so overwhelmed to be part of this choir. My children and my family would be so proud of me right now.”
Liberty Choir singer

In reference to the Friends and Family concerts

” It is the most important part of our re-integration; it shows our families and friends, acquaintances and others the commitment and dedication we have made…”

L, HMP Wandsworth

Liberty Singer

“Via the Liberty Choir I’ve gone from the amazing relief of an oppressive regime I encountered to being in a community of creative partnering, untapping a creative process never revealed to me before – writing prose, articles, songwriting, learnt guitar and progressed into performing original material – all because people I’ve never met before wanted to join with me in the simple, beautiful and precious act of singing together”

Ex- offender

“I haven’t felt loved and part of something so special for a very long time now. I have been singing in my head to get to sleep sometimes which really does work.”
Liberty Choir singer

“I hold the Liberty Choir so fundamentally accountable for enabling R to make a success of his term inside. Without your intervention at that critical time, he could have turned inwards and been that much harder to reach. And then I thank you again listening to R rehearsing with his band. Being a part of your choir sparked off this whole creative process that has kept him sane and productive throughout. ”
Wife of a Liberty Choir singer

“Your choir has brought me joy and a peace of humanity in a place that lacks it and urgently needs it. I felt the room was full of kindness and love and as Robert Browning said, “Take away love and our earth is a tomb.”