Children and young people to showcase song writing skills

Posted: 15/01/20

Children and young people who have used services at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) will be taking to the stage to showcase their song writing skills.

Taking place at Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 21 January, service users from Ferndene and Alnwood hospitals and those accessing the children and young people’s service at Benton House will share a song they have written with the help of a music therapist and professional songwriters.

The event will also see work showcased by young people from Newcastle Bridges School, Hotspur Primary School, West Jesmond Primary School and Chillingham Road Primary School, who have all written their own songs.

A partnership with Sage Gateshead and CNTW’s arts psychotherapies team, the event will demonstrate two years of work where arts psychotherapists from the Trust, community-based songwriters and an artist attended five very different settings.

As well as writing a song, the children have worked with an art therapist from CNTW and a self-employed artist to create videos that will be played alongside the songs.

Cindy-Jo Morison, senior arts psychotherapist at CNTW, said: “We have been really impressed with the work the children have created and are very much looking forward to being able to share their efforts.

“It can often be hard for children with social, emotional or mental health needs to communicate so taking part in these activities enables them to be creative and express themselves in a meaningful way.

“The activities have supported the young people to build positive relationships with their peers through music making, encouraging mutual and peer support.”

Cindy will act as a compere for the event with support from the delivery team involved including music therapist Jayne Sewell, art therapist Simon Critchley, artist Tom Madge, community musician Paige Temperley and songwriters Gareth Davies-Jones and Bethany Elen Coyle.

The event is part of the INSPIRE project, which aims to create opportunities to explore creative and meaningful ways to engage and support young people experiencing social, emotional and/ or mental health challenges, including those with learning disabilities.

The project works with professional songwriters, both from Sage Gateshead and external, to enable children and young people to gain the benefits of socialising through singing.

Ferndene, Alnwood and Benton House are all part of CNTW, a provider of mental health and learning disability services in the North East and North Cumbria.

The three sites, based at Prudhoe, Gosforth and Sandyford respectively, provide assessment and treatment for young people who have complex health, behavioural and emotional needs, including young people with a learning disability.

CNTW’s INSPIRE project and Sage Gateshead have worked together closely for more than five years, enabling over 250 young people across the area to work together in a safe, inclusive environment, which has enabled positive social interaction and improved young people’s confidence in musical and social settings.

Paige Temperley, a project musician at Sage Gateshead, said: “I have loved working on this project. The young people have been so inspiring and have achieved amazing things both on their individual journeys and as part of their groups.”