Project Description


These stories are three and at the same time one. Sugar exposes the routes into prison, life behind bars and the revolving door that catapults women back.

Sugar previewed a First Stage Development tour in 2017. Keep a lookout for second stage developments this 2019.

Building on the success of their relationship with HMP Low Newton during Key Change, Open Clasp returned to the prison in the spring of 2016 with a new project. They were one of three groups, the other being women in a hostel providing emergency accommodation in Manchester and women on probation attending a Women’s Hub in Newcastle (West End Women & Girls Centre).

These three groups have common themes running throughout; childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, along with a lack of provision to support women with complex needs.

‘This project for us has been a life-changing experience.  This work matters, we learn so much from working together with people who are at the margins of society, those who are at their most vulnerable and in need of support, care and empathy. 

We have a responsibility to ensure that their voices are heard and that change is agitated for.  We said to the women they deserve a medal, as they survive experiences that no one should ever have to and many wouldn’t be able to. They are strong, courageous, and intelligent, and they deserve, in the words of one woman, ‘to have memories that are positive for a change’. They are the change makers, they invest their time, take risks and stand tall.  We meet these women as equals, standing in solidarity and together we make change happen.” Catrina McHugh MBE, Writer and Artistic Director of Open Clasp

‘Resilient people don’t walk between raindrops; they have the scars to show their experiences.  They struggle but keep functioning anyway – resilience isn’t the ability to escape unharmed, it’s not about magic….’