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Hidden Voices: Digital Storytelling with Prisoners’ Families





DigiTales is delighted to be collaborating on the Hidden Voices project, creating digital stories with families of prisoners in Brighton in February 2017.

 Zap Art and Sussex Prisoners’ Families have received £30,000 grant funding towards the ‘Hidden Voices’ from People’s Postcode Trust (£20,000) and BBC Children in Need (£10,000).

Hidden Voices is an exciting new collaboration with Zap Art & Sussex Prisoners’ Families (SPF) to raise awareness of the ‘hidden sentence’ faced by one of society’s most invisible groups – prisoners’ families (partners, carers, parents and particularly young people and children). The project seeks to highlight the impact of family imprisonment upon wellbeing, relationships and life chances and offer a platform to promote youth voice.

Funding will support an exciting programme of expressive arts workshops in youth clubs and community centres across East and West Sussex, a 3 day intensive digital storytelling project delivered by the University of Brighton and DigiTales, professional training and a public showcase event in May as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival.

Our Funders:

People’s Postcode Trust

People’s Postcode Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. To find out more about the trust or to apply for funding please click this link:

To find out how to play the People’s Postcode lottery, and thus support more charities, please click this link:

BBC Children In Need

BBC Children in Need awards grants each year to organisations supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the UK who may be affected by homelessness, neglect, abuse or poverty, or those who have faced challenges in their lives such as serious illness, disabilities and psychological disorders.

BBC Children in Need is a charity registered in England and Wales (802052) and Scotland (SC039557) whose aim is to make a positive change to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

To find out more about BBC Children in Need, please click this link:

Project Partners:

Zap Art is a creative arts charity, internationally renowned for introducing high quality, powerful arts experiences to new audiences, with a particular focus on engaging people in areas of deprivation, working with disadvantaged or marginalised groups. Zap designs creative programmes and cultural events that involve communities, and through working in partnership with social organisations it seeks to support people to transform their personal situations or tackle social issues.

Sussex Prisoners’ Families (SPF)

SPF is a community interest company, established in 2013, which supports local families in Brighton, West Sussex and East Sussex to cope emotionally and practically with the imprisonment of a loved-one. SPF offers support and advice to families (partners, carers, parents, young people and children) as well as training and awareness-raising for professionals so that they can better meet families’ needs. SPF’s first strand of work is supporting defendant families in court, but they are currently developing community based support groups including youth voice activity.




StoryA|STORY Abroad

Validating and Connecting Experiences of Working and Studying Abroad Through Digital Storytelling

StoryA – A Transnational European project funded by ErasmusPlus.  The UK Component is led by the University of Brighton.

Partners: MeltingPro (Italy – lead partner); Storycenter (USA), Media Shots (Portugal), Verein Digital Story Vienna (Austria), Perspectives (Belgium), Museu da Pessoa (Brazil), Kulturskolan Stockholm (Sweden), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (South Africa).

DigiTales is working closely with the University of Brighton to deliver the UK components of STORYA. Our primary goal was to take advantage of the opportunity to work with a group of young people over an extended period of time on a sharply focussed research question. Our view was that the longer time period created scope to establish relationships with young people by introducing them to digital storytelling before they went abroad so they could gather resources for their story while they travelled before attending a production workshop to craft their stories on their return. We were fortunate enough to be able to draw on our existing relationship with the Salvation Army Housing Association’s Open Talent programme which provides new creative opportunities for hard to reach young people and includes periods spent outside the UK.   UoB, DigiTales and SAHA worked together to create a bespoke workshop programme for young people travelling to South Africa and the Netherlands. For most of the group, this journey was their first time outside the UK. In December 2015, we ran a three day workshop to produce digital stories with the group about the impact of their experiences abroad.  Here is a story by Sophie, who describes a life changing experience:

You can see stories from across the partnership here on the StoryAbroad Youtube channel.  We also made a short video containing interviews from the young people as they went through their digital storytelling workshop.  You can download the E-Book that was produced by the partnership: Travelling Stories.