“The degree of civilisation in a society can be judged by entering its prisons”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 'The House of the Dead'

Artwork created in prison courtesy of 2makeit’s social enterprise partner, Pictora Ltd.

People in prison often come from a background of deprivation, exclusion, abuse and violence coupled with low self-esteem and lack of opportunity. Without constructive help, creative and purposeful activity prisoners, ex-prisoners and offenders in the community find themselves locked into familiar patterns of negative habits and reoffending is often the result.

2makeit helps rehabilitation by offering expression through music and the arts and individual and group mentoring on release. They learn how to collaborate and create, inspiring them to lead more productive and positive lives whilst in jail, and law-abiding lives on release.

Many people might say that prison isn’t meant to be easy.

It isn’t.

  • The current UK prison population is about 83,000, of whom nearly 4,000 are women. Scotland, England and Wales have the highest imprisonment rate in Western Europe.
  • At the end of September 2019 there were 809 children in custody in England and Wales. 31 children were aged 14 or younger. 
  • 308 people died in prison in the year to September 2019. A quarter were self-inflicted. Self-inflicted deaths are over six times more likely in prison than in the general population.
  • 24% of prisoners were taken into care as a child compared to 2% for the rest of the population.
  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people entering prison were assessed as having literacy skills expected of an 11 year old—more than four times higher than in the general adult population (15%).

All data is taken from the Bromley Briefings, published by the Prison Reform Trust and drawn from Government sources.

Our prison projects have included choirs, drum workshops, art and poetry.

Some of the locations of our projects:

  • HMPYOI Rochester
  • Medway Secure Training Centre
  • HMYOI Cookham Wood
  • HMP The Mount
  • HMP Downview
  • HMP Grendon
  • HMP Spring Hill

HMPYOI  Rochester

HMPYOI  Rochester

From November 2018 until lockdown in March 2020, 2makeit’s Music Maker delivered some 50 sessions leading a choir, and engaging over 40 prisoners in HMPYOI Rochester. A key part of this work is to develop a trusting relationship with the participants through the music, and raise their self-esteem and confidence to prepare for release and successful resettlement.  
The 2makeit choir sang for the 2018 and 2019 Christmas Carol Service with the Bishop of Rochester and the Bishop of Tonbridge.Some prisoners have contacted 2makeit for continuing help with their rehabilitation post-release, including referrals to partner agencies and community music groups, 1-2-1 mentoring and support. This feedback from one participant is typical:
”I have the best time in her lesson and looked forward to singing with her in our group every Tuesday and in front of the church on Sundays! ... we are all greatly appreciative of all the commitment and hard work she done with us! ... thanks for all the hard work you’re doing for us ex-offenders."

“I’ve got a new label…songwriter”


These are the words of a prisoner participant in 2makeit’s new project designed to help prisoners locked in their cells for up to 23 hours per day since the Covid-19 crisis lockdown.

Songbird provides activities to guide the writing of lyrics which are then sent to 2makeit for one of our Music Makers to add music. Recordings are then sent into prison for the prisoners to listen to and send to families to maintain vital contacts with loved ones.

To find out more please contact:

Philip Emery, Director

07950 099766 or send an Email

2makeit is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales number 8958828 and a registered charity number 1157740.

Registered address: 5 Robin Hood Lane, Sutton, Surrey SM1 2SW.