SAFESOC collaboration wins The Sheila McKechnie Foundation Creative Change-makers Award.


The “Woodhill” film and theatre project was awarded The Sheila McKechnie Foundation Creative Change-makers Award at a ceremony in London on 15th May 2024. The project raised awareness of prison suicide, associated harms, and how multisectoral regulators could help to reduce harms. 

The SAFESOC research team (Prof Philippa Tomczak and Dr Gill Buck) worked with LUNG Theatre and the Woodhill Families Group to co-create a campaign advocating penal reform. This involved:

  • A film centring one mother’s experience of losing a son in prison and the resulting death investigations, seeking to inspire systemic improvements, presented at conferences (including to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions), and to the House of Lords.
  • A documentary play touring to 3,573 people across the nation.
  • A media public awareness campaign reaching 1.19 million people.
  • A training package of two short films co-created by the Woodhill Families group.
  • A policy brief presented at the House of Lords.
  • A series of consultative meetings with ministers about improving conditions at HMP Woodhill and across the wider prison estate.

The full award nomination can be read here.

The award ceremony can be viewed here.


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