WE KNOW THE DIFFERENCES THE ARTS MAKE
Music is a distinct and powerful form of cultural and personal expression celebrated everywhere in the world. It provides an outlet for communal processing, encourages creative thinking and teamwork, provides a means for emotional release as well as a method of encouraging self-discipline, and is simply a blast!
Children caught in war and violence are traumatised. Their education is interrupted or non-existent, and they don’t have the resources to participate in creative activities that are vital to healthy emotional and intellectual growth.
Our programmes are designed to encourage and enable these children to find enjoyment in music and art making, explore global cultural traditions, collaborate with their peers, bring out their inner performer, begin to process complex traumas, find security and camaraderie in joint efforts, and develop their confidence. We underpin all of our creative work with therapeutic understanding and have created a therapy department that responds to the unique needs of our young people.
The beauty of creative language is that it creates safe distance and containment for feelings and experiences and it brings us together as a community to help regulate, heal and move forward. Constantly fighting internal and external danger is exhausting and depressing, but working creatively is an immensely therapeutic experience. It is in the dynamic nature of coming together to form community that safety and connection is created.
Students’ confidence and creative voices
Personal, social & practical skills
Trusting, reliable, positive relationships with adults and peers alike
Abuse of young people within the system resulting from lack of oversight
Deterioration of mental health in some young people who are on long waiting lists for assistance
A stable and dynamic community that adjusts to address different needs
Supplemental support for survival, education, and connection
Students harness tools to overcome adversity, trauma, and stress
Guide the arts and therapeutic industries in utilising best practice when working with this vulnerable community
WHAT OTHERS SAY
FACING THEIR CHALLENGES
We are based in Croydon, because as these young people come into the UK, they must undergo the long and arduous process of gaining asylum through the Home Office, which has its main headquarters in this southeast suburb.
While their applications are evaluated, many of these young people are placed in foster care or youth hostels in Croydon, and only some have been entered into formal education.
Most of these teens endured harrowing experiences as they journeyed to get here, and upon arriving, discovered that the process of gaining asylum is itself is an arduous, lengthy, and traumatic one.
We want to be there for them, to offer ways for them to connect with the diverse and often overwhelming city that is London, to practice their language skills, to release tensions and healthily offer respite from trauma in a safe space, to forge supportive friendships and relationships, and to explore and develop their own creative potential. That is why we developed our music and arts programmes, and why we offer the supplemental support that we do.