RAP music and poetry workshops are helping to provide hope and optimism to prisoners according to the governor of HMP Risley.

Pia Sinha has thrown her support behind a new programme which aims to encourage inmates to discover their creative sides to help them develop open and honest communication.

The 12-week pilot project was run by RiseUp Community Interest Company and is supported by Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company.

Ms Sinha said: "The contribution that prisons receive from the voluntary and community sector is invaluable. 

"Their generosity, compassion and commitment to working with offenders in places like Risley offers hope and optimism. 

"It is a creative way for our men to learn and enjoy the process of learning.  

"When resources within the public sector are stretched, we rely on our partners. 

"The RiseUp project is a fantastic example of how we are all working together, despite the challenges, to provide meaningful services to help our offenders change their lives."

The project involved case managers from HMP Risley imagining how it may feel to be a prisoner and prisoners imagining themselves in the shoes of staff. 

Around 60 prisoners took part in the scheme which also aims to provide a better understanding about how to overcome anger and addictions.

Donna Yates, community director of Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company, said: "Projects like RiseUp are where the magic happens.  

"It enables men to understand their thoughts and feelings, manage these well through creative means and go on to make the changes they need.  

"While the more traditional rehabilitation avenues remain key, it is projects like RiseUp that will make a difference and allow prisoners to take responsibility and gain the self-worth they need to really make a difference to their lifestyle and ultimately their ability to avoid further offending."

The programme also included CV writing, disclosure letter writing and interview techniques.

The final session concluded with the men receiving programme packs, certificates and copies of their work including group songs.