Our GlobalGiving campaign is supporting the running of our creative and safe spaces for young people in Barnet. It is helping us to maintain, replace, upgrade and extend equipment and facilities so that we can offer young people high-quality creative training and activities.
In autumn/winter 2019, 204 young people signed into our weekly LAB musis studio sessions on Wednesday afternoons; every week, on average 19 young people were in the studio learning music-making, writing, producing and recording tracks. On Thursdays, young people accessed our creative studio, receiving 1:1 support with school work, carreer planning, Arts Award work, their individual creative projects as well as risks they were facing (e.g. mental health support).
We co-produce everything we do with young people and for each quarter, we plan with them what specific activities and projects will happen in the sessions/spaces and how the spaces can be developed on a continuous basis. These are all based on feedback and input from young people and the needs that emerge as we work with them in the spaces.
At the beginning of 2020, we started planning to
*work on VOLUME 4 of LAB mixtapes and support three solo projects
*work with a graphic design volunteer to create designs and PR for new tracks ready to be released
*set up LAB accounts on more platforms to release music and widen access to the industry (e.g. Distrokid, extended YouTube channel)
*support young people in producing podcasts
*create more recording/work space in our upstairs room
*look into instrument lessons
*run sessions on specific musicians and their work, especially exploring their lyrics
*run sessions on on how pieces of music are constructed, ie music theory
*run film screenings
*offer GSCE revision sessions in the spring when many participants need to get ready for the exams
*extend the snacks we offer in the spaces to increase healthy nutrition
*work with our specialist partners MAC-UK on targeted mental health support for younger participants
*run first aid training focused on knife wounds etc with Street Doctors (who we worked with before)
*run sexual health and sex education sessions.
In early March, we had to temporarily close our creative spaces due to the C-19 pandemic and lockdown. We have adapted our services to be delivered remotely and online. Our team members are currently offering 1:1 support to young people via phone/digital channels. We have started developing online delivery of creative training and activities that are as interactive and collaborative as possible. We are still building this offer. A key part of it is to ensure young people have access, i.e. good enough hardware, internet access and bandwith to participate in data-hungry online sessions, webinars and tutorials etc. Another key part is to ensure that remote support provision and participation is safe for young people.
Once we had launched our initial remote/online offer, from mid-March to mid-April, the LAB team reached on average 35 young people in weekly communications; mentored 20, and 10 were participating in online creative activity.
First creative activities were:
*Lockdown Challenge: 'The challenge is simple, one week, one sample and The Lab's best producers come together to give their take on the source material.’
week 1 - https://soundcloud.com/the-lab-aak/lab-lockdown-week-1
week 2 - https://soundcloud.com/the-lab-aak/lab-lockdown-week-2
*Creating inspirational artist profile
*The LAB Radio - weekly playlist "keepin us all sonicaly connected" with young people adding their chosen songs
*Work on a new LAB EP
We are currently building on this and also on the support that young people need right now (e.g. being able to participate in online school work; mitigating the loss of active support by other agencies who have had to reduce their work [e.g. school counsellors, social workers]; help young people to navigate the current support system/offer).
The funds raised via GlobalGiving to date are helping us to bring in the equipment, materials and other resources we need to do just that.