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News from Superact!

Prestige for Peeta: Female prisoners from Santa Casa Womens Prison, Porto gave a moving performance of Inesquecivel Emilia in the Palácio de São Bento using skills learned through a pilot scheme developed by Superact together with the University of Exeter and accredited by Edexcel called SEPE, Supporting Employability and Personal Effectiveness.

Prestige for PEETA

Female prisoners from Santa Casa Womens Prison, Porto gave a moving performance of Inesquecivel Emilia in the Palácio de São Bento, home of the Portuguese Parliament, Assembleia da República, in the presence of the President of the Parliament Assunção Esteves.  The women used skills learned through a pilot scheme developed by Superact together with the University of Exeter and accredited by Edexcel called SEPE, Supporting Employability and Personal Effectiveness.

Superact Director, Nick Smith, explains: “Blown away would be an understatement ... the group of women offenders that Pele (our Portuguese partner in the PEETA project) have worked with bought the house down!! They had a packed assembly of deputies and the President of Parliament on their feet cheering for more ... I feel so honoured to have been there and to share what was a truly memorable experience!!! Talk about changing lives through the arts ... just amazing!”

President Esteves heard about the programme being delivered in the prison and personally requested that the women bring their performance to Parliament.  “We can still remember the phone call from the President’s Office on 1st March asking us to take the performance to Parliament, what an honour” (Hugo Alvez de Cruz, Director, PELE, partners of Superact in Portugal).

Different art forms and delivery approaches are used with SEPE to build self-esteem, encourage communication and teamwork and award the prisoners with a qualification, thereby increasing their chances of employment post-release and reduce the risk of reoffending.

SEPE is part of a Leonardo Transfer of Innovation project called PEETA (Personal Effectiveness and Employability through the Arts) and is being piloted in five different European prisons including Portugal, Turkey and the Netherlands to test the use of the SEPE qualification. 

The final phase of the project will be celebrated in Rotterdam from 27-29 September 2012 with a Conference taking place on the stunning cruise ship SS Rotterdam.  This will be attended by Dutch and European policy makers, artists and employers, Government bodies, Ministries of Justice, Conservatoires and Arts Colleges.

For more details of the PEETA project and forthcoming Conference, visit www.peetaproject.com

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