Safe Ground - Using drama to educate prisoners and young people at risk in the community


Programmes & Services

Our programmes

All the programmes at Safe Ground are distinct in content, style and purpose. They all share a methodology – a set of principles common to the programmes’ design and delivery.

Fathers Inside

Fathers Inside (FI) is a parenting course written to meet the very specific needs of male prisoners. It focuses on parental responsibilities as well as children’s education, development and well-being. The course teaches prisoners new ways of communicating responsibly with staff, support agencies, and family members. Fathers Inside also provides resistant learners with a route into education.

Man Up

Man Up (MU) is a group-work programme designed to help young and adult men consider the pressures and expectations associated with being a ‘man’, many of which can exacerbate harmful behaviours. Man Up explores ways in which concepts of masculinity contribute to shaping identity. The programme aims to support men to challenge some of the narrow stereotypes often presented as embodying the characteristics men should aspire to.

Our Own Stories

Our Own Stories is a creative personal development programme for women. It offers women the space and structure to reflect on, learn from, and plan for, moments of transition and transformation in their lives. The programme’s design and inclusive facilitation style combine to ensure women’s meaningful participation, supporting each individual’s progress towards fulfilling their potential.

Officers’ Mess

Officers’ Mess is one of the first programmes of its kind to work with Prison Officers (of all grades) to consider the impact of their role on their own lives and the lives of others. The programme, using a trauma informed approach, supports staff to reflect upon their emotional responses to their work and and its impact on both the people they serve and their values, attitudes, beliefs and experiences.

Family Man

Family Man (FM) is a family relationships course for male prisoners. It was developed to help the vast number of prisoners who lose contact with their families, and are unable to sustain a job or relationships. The programme aims to help prevent institutionalisation and re-offending by providing the basic social and life skills prisoners need, and to help them understand the benefits of being part of a family and a community.

Father Figures – Brinsford Pilot Parenting Programme

Father Figures is a unique and progressive thinking parenting project set in Brinsford YOI, funded by NOMS. Young fathers are encouraged by to consider their relationships with their partners, ex-partners and families, explore ways of communicating, and to build on their own strengths through one to one sessions and a one off group programme. The FIP model of intervention is used during the programme as part of the Building Resilient Families and Communities (BRFC). The Young Father’s partners, ex-partners and families are also worked with and supported in the community, using outside partner agencies.

Family Man Community Programme

The Family Man Community Programme (FMCP) is an intensive group-work programme, adapted from the prison-based Family Man programme.

It works with men on probation and uses family relationships as a vehicle to improve offenders’ education, and boost their chances of gaining sustainable employment. The programme was pioneered by Safe Ground in 2012 in partnership with Hampshire Probation Trust.

 The Cay

This programme was co-designed with men in HMP Balsam Ghutt, British Virgin Islands. The Cay, designed for men serving long/life sentences, uses the analogy of Homer’s Odyssey to support men to consider their sentence and how to pace, cope with and manager it in the context of the relationships they have outside the prison as as inside.

Consider Yourself

This programme was commissioned through a NOMS grant in HMP/YOI Brinsford in 2014-16. Safe Ground worked with a group of young men (under 24) to define what ‘care’ means, how it manifests and why it is important. The young men reviewed their own early life experiences, discussed and debated principles of relationships and respect, used drama and theatre techniques to embody different roles and played carefully selected games to build trust, develop confidence and experiment with new abilities.











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