The Radical Kindness Of Forgiveness | Free Word

5 November 2020

Presented by:
Cecilia Knapp and The Forgiveness Project


A two-part workshop on writing to forgive with Cecilia Knapp and The Forgiveness Project


*** If you would like to attend today’s workshop (Thursday 12th November) but missed the first instalment last week, please email before 7pm for more information.***


‘I must admit, I’ll be honest with you, I came to this somewhat dubious about why writing in free form could in any way help with the process of forgiveness, but Cecilia you’ve just about convinced me that it can.’

Jane Garvey, BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, 15 Oct 2020

This digital workshop will discuss forgiveness as a springboard for self exploration and ultimately, radical kindness, and explore how we can use storytelling as a transformative process.  

There’ll be an opportunity for participants to ask questions and engage in a discussion before embarking on writing exercises facilitated by writer Cecilia Knapp. Two storytellers from
The Forgiveness Project will also be sharing their lived experience of kindness and forgiveness with the group.

The session will be split into two parts; the first session exploring forgiveness as kindness to others and the second looking at self forgiveness as a form of kindness to the self.

Note: This is a two-part workshop. One ticket gives you access to both parts of the workshop on Thursday 5th and Thursday 12th November. Ticket holders will be sent an email on the day of the workshops with a Zoom link. Both workshops will be live captioned. 


Free Word’s new ticket pricing structure aims to honour the work of our artists whilst acknowledging the increased financial pressures our audiences may be experiencing. Simply choose the ticket price that is most accessible to you. We kindly ask that those in a position to purchase a full cost solidarity ticket do so. All Free Word ticket revenue goes directly back into our ongoing programming of under-represented writers, artists and activists.



5 November 2020

Cecilia Knapp and The Forgiveness Project


The Forgiveness Project

The Forgiveness Project collects and shares stories from both victims/survivors and perpetrators of crime and conflict who have rebuilt their lives following hurt and trauma. Founded in 2004 by journalist, Marina Cantacuzino, The Forgiveness Project provides resources and experiences to help people examine and overcome their own unresolved grievances. The testimonies we collect bear witness to the resilience of the human spirit and act as a powerful antidote to narratives of hate and dehumanisation, presenting alternatives to cycles of conflict, violence, crime and injustice.

Cecilia Knapp


Cecilia Knapp is a poet, playwright and novelist. Poems have been published by The White Review, Magma and Bath magazines. She was shortlisted for the 2020 Outspoken poetry prize and shortlisted for the role of Young People’s Laureate in 2020. Her debut novel is forthcoming with The Borough Press (Harper Collins.) Her plays Losing the Night and Finding Home opened to sell out London runs and completed national tours. She is one of the lead tutors for the Roundhouse Poetry Collective and teaches creative writing in a number of settings.

Sandra Barefoot


Sandra has worked for over 11 years, as lead facilitator and programme development manager for The Forgiveness Project. Sandra is a creative artist working within performance, dance, visual arts, and poetry. She has embedded creative writing, and visual arts within The Forgiveness Project’s RESTORE prison programme. In 2016, The Forgiveness Project co-produced a poetry book with women in prison, called ‘I Am The Horizon’ and exhibited poetry, and art work as part of The F Word Exhibition held at the OXO Tower in 2017. Sandra is at present studying an MA in Creative Practice at the Trinity Laban. She is working towards a performative installation of her present research with The Forgiveness Project and The Griffin Society, exploring women’s lived experience of shame and resilience whilst in prison.

Anne-Marie Cockburn


In July 2013 Anne-Marie Cockburn’s 15-year-old daughter, Martha Fernback, spent the afternoon in an Oxford park with friends when she took a half gram of pure crystallised MDMA (ecstasy) which killed her. A 17-year-old man was given an 18-month supervision order for supplying Class A drugs. In the immediate aftermath of Martha’s death, Anne-Marie started to write 5742 Days (the number of days Martha lived), a book which chronicles a mother’s journey through loss. Anne Marie has worked with The Forgiveness Project for over 6 years as a speaker in the prison programme RESTORE. In this workshop Anne Marie will share her story of how she has explored kindness toward her self and others which has led her toward the possibility of forgiveness.

Jacob Dunne


Jacob Dunne is an educator facilitating important conversations around criminal justice, education and mental health. In 2020 he helped create and present a BBC Radio 4 series The Punch based on his own life story and the transformative effect of Restorative Justice on his life. He is a former Longford scholar and received a first class honours in Criminology in 2019. Jacob is currently writing his first book to be published in early 2022 and is keen to continue stimulating important conversations with the public.