Maudsley Charity is supporting music and media education charity Raw Material through a £30,000 grant. The funding allows the organisation to deliver Raw Sounds, a mental health programme which enables inpatient and community patients to attend music sessions on hospital wards and at Raw Sounds’ Brixton- based music studio.
A key priority of Raw Material is to support mental health and wellbeing in the community through creative programmes, music and performing arts. The Raw Sounds programme includes live music, studio recording, music production, DJ and performance.
This year marks 25 years of Raw Material providing services to young people in London. In 2016-17 more than 170 people were referred through mental health services to the Raw Sounds project.
Joel is the ward activity coordinator at Tony Hills Unit, Lambeth Hospital. He talks about the relationship the service has built with Raw Sounds, a Brixton-based music workshop programme.
He says,‘The project is open to everyone currently accessing mental health services. Their approach recognises people as unique, diverse and resilient. We refer each patient individually and if they are accepted they get to take part in a 10-session programme which gives them access to a range of music sessions including singing, playing music, sound recording and production.’
Joel continues, ‘It’s fantastic, working with patients away from the ward environment means we see them in a totally different way. There is a feeling of genuine equality. Everyone who attends the sessions takes part, which includes the ward staff. I can’t recommend it enough.’
Ward Consultant Dr David O’Flynn says, ‘The sense of family, and time off the ward is invaluable. Creativity and performance are powerful ways to recovery. People take great pride in the work they do at Raw.
‘As a psychiatrist, often in challenging relationships with those I detain, it is moving and special for me to see the men I work with on the ward performing, seeing different sides of who they are, and recovering through music and creativity.’
Service user Susan, says, ‘I started coming to Raw four weeks ago. I’ve been writing music since I was nine years old, writing on and off over the years. I’ve done college courses, university courses, but I always felt like a bit of an outcast. Here I feel comfortable, everyone is so friendly, everyone has an understanding of what I am going through because they have been through something similar themselves.’
Susan adds, ‘I love singing, I love working with other people, I love the fact that I am working with people on my own songs. When I’ve tried to work with other people in the past they have let me down, here it’s all positive.
‘To me this means the beginning of the beginning. I feel like am actually going to get somewhere now. Before there wasn’t an end result.’
Without support from donations, service users like Susan would have far less access to innovative extra services like those provided by Raw Material. Get involved today and help support life-changing projects at SLaM.