HMP Wayland, March 2019
Sing Inside had an enjoyable visit to HMP Wayland on Tuesday, with a great turnout for both the workshop and performance at the end. Our theme for the visit was Birds, for the group's logo. This was appreciated by some of the residents as birds are a common occurrence at the prison, and were seen as a connection between the residents and the group.
Together, we learned songs including Blackbird, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Three Little Birds (a favourite among the residents, and accompanied in the morning by some of them on guitar). After that, the more challenging Bird of Paradise was learnt, with different parts overlapping at beginning and end. After working hard on this, the fantastic final performance of this was seen as "the best one we've done so far".
There was a mix of newcomers and old faces in both the resident and Sing Inside groups, but no hesitation in conversation, and more than one decision to come back the next time we visit. One resident remarked that he "would never have done this on the outside", but was having as much fun as we were. After an impromptu guitar lesson and more handshakes than I could count, we were sad to leave, and look forward to visiting Wayland again in the future.