Annie Bamforth - transforming lives through guitar lessons.
"It remains the most amazing privilege to make a difference to individuals lives - that's why I went into teaching in the first place some 40 years ago" says Annie Bamforth.
Annie is an amazing lady, she is not just teaching the guitar - she is teaching it to inmates at Peterborough prison and for much of the time she has given her time for free.
Annie explains "I'm teaching classical guitar at the prison, so that beginners learn how to read music as well as how to play guitar, and advanced players can branch out to new styles and techniques"
As you can imagine most students come with very few skills however, through the music they learn study skills and their reading and maths improves as they master the more complex work of music. Annie explains that all her students have reported better concentration as a result of the course - she puts this down to the fact that playing the guitar soaks up huge amounts of time and energy, leaving less time for unhelpful and negative thoughts
Amazingly two have quit smoking: "Better things to do with my hands, miss"; two have reported a significant improvement in mental health and all have reported a better self-image as a direct result of the study programme that Annie provides. One recovering alcoholic has described this course as the best opportunity he's ever been offered, while another reports it as a turning point in his life for the better. Annie explains "As a teacher, this is the best sort of feedback to hear. The students' enthusiasm and commitment are outstanding"
Each course lasts for 5 months and can accomodate 7 students. Obviously Annie cannot give names of clients due to confidentiality, however she can report that from her class that took place between June to October 2013, all students are now out and staying out - they count the guitar class as one aspect of their changed futures.