Helen Tetlow (1951-2002) was a teacher, musician and activist. Helen spent her life standing up for and empowering refugees. That’s how we met. She also loved music and once packed her sax and went busking round Europe. Helen died suddenly and young. Her partner Peter wanted to use the money she left behind to help the most disadvantaged migrants in the UK. So he gathered Helen’s friends and family, myself included, to start a project. We were, and still are, so inspired by Katia Chornik’s research into the music made by Chilean political prisoners during the dictatorship of Pinochet. We were struck by how music was a way to process, remember, forget or transcend difficult experiences. Maybe my grandparents heard the music of Terezin before they were deported to Auschwitz and their deaths. To honour Helen’s life, we knew we wanted to get music into UK immigration detention centres. And that’s what we’ve been doing ever since 2006.
Who we are today
We’ve grown to a team of 9 staff and 34 artists. All devoted to supporting the mental wellbeing of the people locked in immigration detention and to changing attitudes to migrants in the communities around them. We’re really proud that in 2019, Lamin Joof joined the board as a trustee – an important point in our history as Lamin was held in the immigration detention system when he first got involved in our workshops. If you ever need proof of the power of music to bring strength and resilience to people held in detention, look to Lamin. As the UK has become increasingly hostile to migrants and with recurring episodes such as the Windrush scandal, we believe our work is more important than ever. We need to speak to people like you, who believe in humanity and dignity for people incarcerated in UK immigration detention centres – and we need your support. Alone we cannot free people from detention, but together we can give them some release. We can make sure their songs, their stories, their voices are heard.
Meet the Team
Hear Me Out is a passionate team of musicians, experts, teachers and people with real experience of UK immigration detention. Together, we’re working for the day when all migrants are treated with dignity.
Participation and Safeguarding Manager
Programme & Evaluation Manager
Communications and Marketing Manager
Administration & Finance Co-ordinator
Alexander D Great
Anna De Mutiis
Carol Pemberton MBE
CeCelia Wickham Anderson
Dr H Patten
Kevin Campbell Davidson
Kevin Mark Trail
Clare Scott Booth
Dr Kai Syng Tan
With thanks to the support of our funders, including:
What we stand for
In the power of music to promote wellbeing and to help people in immigration detention, and the surrounding communities, make their voices heard.
People of all cultures, backgrounds and beliefs, both inside and outside of detention centres.
In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and are always looking to express this in our work and organisation.
For the mental health of every human being held in a UK detention centre and we’re alive to the realities they face every day.
And innovate as we’re artists ourselves and we know music improves mental wellbeing, finding new ways to help people who are denied a voice.
in everything we do – and we’re always transparent about our beliefs and how we use funding.
Join a chorus of music-lovers bringing refuge and release to immigration detainees
If you love music, you know the power it has. When you’re held in UK immigration detention with no end in sight, music can be the difference between keeping or losing your sanity. By giving the joy of playing and writing music, you help those taken away find refuge, strength and release. An escape from the daily mental torture of being locked up inside. That’s the power of music.