This is the second project we have worked on with Music In Detention and the Asian Music Circuit and after the success of the first project, it seemed to be a hard task to improve it. The aim of the project was to raise the awareness of families who are detained in the centre and to understand their challenges, needs and circumstances that may be present by being separated from their friends and families for an indefinite period of time.
The joint project was designed to establish communication links with our Family Groups members and the families at the centre by using music and songs as a golden thread between the two groups. The two facilitating musicians, Shammi and Michael, were inspirational to our members and encouraged both groups to take part in writing lyrics for songs about their feelings, home lives, families and also messages of support by visiting both groups in turn.
The project ran for 3 weeks and 21 women attended the Family Groups sessions. We were able to write and record some lyrics for songs in the morning sessions and the musicians visited the centre in the afternoon and repeated the sessions at the centre.
"The result, wonderful songs that have been written and recorded by two different groups who have not met each other. The words are meaningful and give hope and inspiration to both groups who are united by their love for their families and homes."
Derry Dynes, Family Groups Bedford
"This project has made me consider what is important in life. It gave me a lot to think about and an insight into the difficulties others face. The project and communication made me more appreciative of my life now."
Family Groups member
"A big thanks goes out to both Shammi and Michael and to all the staff and participants involved at Family Groups Bedford and Yarl's Wood IRC for their wonderful enthusiasm, energy and engagement with the project."
Jasel Nandha, AMC
"Thank you to everyone involved in making the Community Exchange a success. It was great for residents to be able to work with the family group in the local community. Not only to share the music making experience, but build relationships and share thoughts and feelings in a positive way. We look forward to further exchanges this year."
Stacey Keegan, Yarl's Wood IRC
All tracks recorded, arranged and produced by Shammi Pithia and Michael Goodey. Mixed by Shammi Pithia. Artwork provided by Family Groups Bedford.