Doing Porridge Podcast

Welcome to the Doing Porridge Podcast!
This is a podcast documenting our research journey on the Doing Porridge Research Project. In this podcast series we’ll interview interesting people within the fields of food and prison, as well as keep you updated with our research. All views expressed are those of the individuals.

You can listen to all episodes below.

Episode 13: Nat Middleton (9th June 2023)

In this episode Maddy talks with Nat Middleton, Development Chef of Food Behind Bars the UK’s only Registered Charity dedicated to transforming the food served in British prisons.

Episode 12: Celebrating Neurodiversity (15th May 2023)

In this episode, recorded in Neurodiversity Celebration Week, our research assistant, Maddy, talks with regular podcaster and Doing Porridge research fellow, Erin about her own neurodiversity.

Episode 11: Project Art Exhibition (13th February 2023)

We’re back with something a little different!

In this episode, our placement students Maddy and Anais caught up with guests at the On My Plate exhibition, which we are jointly hosting with Koestler Arts at South Hill Park Arts Centre, in Bracknell. The free exhibition showcases work selected from our project art workshops and entrants to the 2022 Koestler Awards ‘Taste’ theme category from contributors in the women’s estate. The exhibition runs until 5th March 2023.

Episode 10: Julie Westwell (16th November 2022)

In this episode, Erin talks to Julie Westwell, the Facility Operations Manager for MerseyCare. In this episode we explore how catering differs between prisons and mental health facilities and discuss the steps she has taken to increase the quality of food and mealtimes in mental health settings. 

Episode 9: Charlotte (20th October 2022)

In this episode, Erin talks to Charlotte, who shares extracts from the diary she kept while in prison. We discuss friendship, jobs and porridge toppings, and Charlotte shares some of her top prison recipes.

Episode 8: Tristan and Mike (27th July 2022)

In this episode, Erin talks to Tristan and Mike about their experiences of food in male prisons. We discuss communal eating, being creative with food and drinks, and the World Cup!

Episode 7: Fran Allsop (27th June 2022)

In this episode, we talk to Fran Allsop, a prison dietician. We discuss comfort eating, food education, peer support and the challenges of introducing balanced diets into prisons. You can find out more about Fran’s work at:

Episode 6: Jo Tapp (27th May 2022)

In this episode, we talk to Jo Tapp, Arts Manager at Koestler Arts. We discuss the annual Koestler Awards and exhibition, the potential of art to communicate stories, and Koestler’s relationship with the Doing Porridge Project. Read more about the use of arts as research method in our blog post.

Episode 5: International Women’s Day (8th March 2022)

In this special edition of the Doing Porridge Podcast, we speak about women researching women. Get to know more about the women on the team and why we think the project is so important in specifically exploring women’s experiences.

Episode 4: Alison Bradley (24th February 2022)

In this episode Erin speaks to Alison Bradley from Liverpool Community Spirit, who ran A Taste of Life, a course connecting cookery and culture, in prisons. They talk about communal eating, food as a tool to open conversations and cutting onions with a plastic knife!
The recipes Alison mentions can be found on our Instagram page:

Episode 3: Danica Darley (26th January 2022)

In this episode Erin speaks to PhD Candidate Danica Darley about her experience of food during the time she spent in prison. They talk about mothering, communal eating and access to cooking as a form of soft power in prison.

Episode 3: Danica Darley

Episode 2: Helen Blasdale (29th November 2021)

In this episode, Erin speaks to Helen Blasdale, Catering Manager at the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) about her role, the effects of the pandemic on food in prisons, the difference between catering in the male and female prison estates and how food can help to create memories in the visits hall.

Episode 2: Helen Blasdale

Episode 1: Meet the Team (22nd October 2021)

In our first Podcast episode we introduce the Doing Porridge project and get to know the research team.

Episode 1: Meet the Team

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