Paper Dolls Research Project

This research and music project was a collaboration between My Sisters Place, Newcastle University, and folk band Ribbon Road in spring/summer 2018. Prof Rachel Pain and songwriter Brenda Heslop worked with 10 survivors, who called themselves the Paper Dolls Research Group. They addressed the following questions:

  • What is the experience of trauma like?
  • What are its effects on the lives of survivors, and on society as a whole?
  • What causes retraumatization?
  • How do survivors manage their own trauma?
  • What does effective support from others look like?

A report containing the research findings will be published by Newcastle University. A CD of songs by Ribbon Road, that draws on the experiences of the group, is available here

The songs were premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2018. Another performance on 23rd November 2018 at Newcastle University will include discussion by some of the project participants. If you would like to attend tickets can be booked at

Further events are planned around the UK in 2019 – check back here for details.