This week, Spark Inside visited a prison in East London to conduct a focus group discussion with eight young prisoners, about the charity’s marketing, branding and communications. The young men were there to help Spark Inside develop their promotional materials for our Hero’s Journey™ coaching programme in prisons, which aims to reduce reoffending, by helping to unlock the potential of young people in prisons to ultimately lead fulfilling lives.
Having already taken part in the coaching programme, the young people were keen to help shape the in-prison marketing materials, so that more young men like themselves could learn about the programme, take part and be positively impacted by it. The prisoners at the focus group want to turn their lives around, which is what lead them to Hero’s Journey™ in the first place.
“It’s about perspective”, one of the boys said. “And about knowing the difference in right and wrong. It makes you look at your life from the outside perspective in a relaxed and calm group.”
The young men, who are due to be released over the next 6 months, proceeded to have meaningful discussions about the transformation that Hero’s Journey™ has made in them, and how the coaches have been instrumental in this.
Nina Bainbridge, who facilitated the focus group and is one of Spark Inside’s extraordinary life coaches, said:
“Working with this group was positive, engaging, insightful and fun – they bought realism and good humour to the focus group! Sharing their thoughts so generously means Spark Inside can shape how the programme is communicated visually, as well as that all important word of mouth communication crucial to our success in promoting Hero’s Journey™.”
The Hero’s Journey™ brand will now be refreshed and developed, based on what the prisoners discussed, and when asked to design a logo or a poster, the creativity of the young men shone through. Thinking about what messages their designs should convey and what they would want other prisoners to know about the coaching programme was a big part of the conversation. The young men sketched out different concepts, using powerful imagery that portrayed their own journeys of transformation, which resonated with the entire group.
Their sketches have since been sent to a designer, who will use the ideas to create some designs, which will be shared with the young men for further thoughts. The final designs will then be used in marketing materials in every prison that delivers Spark Inside’s Hero’s Journey™ coaching programme. At the end of the session, one of the young men said,
“It was exciting and I’d like to do this kind of thing regularly. It’s nice to be needed for something like this and I hope it helped.”
Spark Inside’s Service Delivery Manager, Simone Ujah said:
“Being present in a group session which focused on the marketing and advertising of Hero’s Journey™ was mind-blowing! The participants were open and honest about what they think our marketing material should look like. The young people were keen and eager to share their ideas, happy to debate with one another, but were all able to articulate their reasons so well. Overall a great focus group with a great group and has set the bar for similar focus groups to be run across different prisons with different themes.”
Thank you to the prison and to the young prisoners that participated. Watch this space for an update on the final designs!