When we completed a major refurbishment of our centre in 2010 one of the most exciting additions was a music studio. It was an instant hit with young people, who now had a space in which to express themselves and pursue their creative ambitions.
Over the years the studio has reverberated with the sound of everything from grime, metal, J- and K-pop through to neo-classical experimentation, classic rock and trap (some of which you can hear on our Soundcloud page). Young people in crisis have consistently told us that being having a space to write, play or just sing covers helps them access feelings they’ve had to suppress in order to get through the many challenges they face.
Former users of the studio have gone on to do courses at Roundhouse and Amy Winehouse Foundation as well as to study music at university and even compete on X-Factor!
The equipment we installed in 2010 (funded by Amy Winehouse Foundation) gave many years’ faithful service, but by 2018 the need for a refresh was becoming hard to ignore with many technical problems causing frustration for staff and young people.
It was pure good luck that our long-time supporter and occasional locum worker Mara Carlyle happened to be at a gig where Zoe Alexander of the Nick Alexander Memorial Trust was fundraising. NAMT’s mission is to fund music projects for the most disadvantaged and marginalised sectors of society, and a conversation between Mara and Zoe quickly revealed the potential for us to obtain the funding we needed to update our equipment.
After some feverish application-filling by our music youth worker Pascal NAMT awarded one of their largest ever single grants to us, allowing us to thoroughly upgrade all elements of the studio, resulting in a faster, more efficient and rewarding experience for young people.
Zoe and punk/folk singer-songwriter Frank Turner visited the studio for a ribbon cutting ceremony in January 2019, where they met two of the young people who’ve benefited from the refreshed studio and heard some of their work. We'd like to say a huge thank you to NAMT for supporting us and giving our young people the chance to continue expressing themselves for years to come!
If you want to get in touch or share your thoughts just use the hashtag #NHYC