HomeNews › "It’s something special that you feel" — our new independent evaluation

"It’s something special that you feel" — our new independent evaluation

"It’s something special that you feel" — our new independent evaluation

14th May 2019

We're so pleased to present our new evaluation report, which was written by Professor Norma Daykin, of the University of Tampere and the University of Winchester.

What are we getting right?

The external evaluation confirmed that we're doing a good job of achieving what we're setting out to do - our music sessions improve the wellbeing of people while they're in detention. Better wellbeing and mental health are the cornerstone of our work as a charity.

The other thing we've learned we do well is that we help people in the community to learn about the realities of detention. Many people who took part in our community exchange projects had little awareness of immigration detention prior to taking part, but learned along the way that those detained were "ordinary people like us".

Music brings people together. And we found that our music sessions in detention create supportive connections between those in detention. We have found that cultural and linguistic diversity is seen as a source of strength within the detention centres. We give those in immigration detention the chance to explore different cultures and create fascinating new musical fusions.

What we could be doing better

As with any evaluation, we've found plenty of things we'd like to be doing even better. The evaluation reminds us that we don't know enough about the people who chose not to take part in our music workshops inside immigration detention centres. By looking into this more closely in future we can find out more about the barriers to participating, and help even more people to benefit from music.

We also found that time and resource constraints play a part, and we would love to spend more time in the detention centres. We're working hard to increase our resources for this work.

"It's inspiring to see the creativity of people in detention, as well as the hard work from our amazing musicians, profiled in this hugely illuminating report. We're so incredibly proud of everything we've achieved in the last few years, but also recognise the challenges of what to do better, and what to do more of. Watch this space — we're hoping to achieve even more and keep creating amazing music."

— John Speyer, Director, Music In Detention

Huge thanks to Professor Norma Daykin for undertaking this important study, and to Katie Bruce for her work on the executive summary.