Almost 40 people gathered together, including Langley residents, staff, family members, the police and churches. Despite the lack of cattle lowing and babies awakening, the carol concert took place in a barn, bringing home the Christmas message and creating a highly topical atmosphere.
Local churches have supported the Bury project for a number of years, providing welcome packs and Christmas presents to help residents feel accepted and reintegrate into their community. The local police have also regularly visited the project to build relationships with residents and break down barriers. Positive community engagement is a central part of effective rehabilitation and is part of Langley’s approach in helping people to live crime-free.
Speaking about the concert, Project Manager Helen said, “It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and so relaxed. Part of helping someone to resettle into their community after crime is for them to build good connections with the community and especially with the Police, where there has often been a difficult relationship. The carol service helped to break down barriers and help our residents feel part of their community.”
Residents overcame nerves to carry out readings with one resident in particular demonstrating the progress he had made. Dressed in a suit and freshly groomed, Tim* was a far cry from the poorly-dressed and socially anxious man who had come to the project just a few months before.
Tim had struggled with social situations and had refused to even be within communal areas in the project, so reading at the carol service was a significant achievement for him.
Langley has been holding a series of carol concerts across the country as part of building stronger community relationships and making Christmas special for our residents.