Who we are
We are a music charity working in some of the most deprived areas of East Kent and have been offering free, creative provision for nearly 20 years. We believe that all young people should have access to music and creative opportunities regardless of who they are or where they live.
Young people are facing the biggest mental health challenge of their lives with access to socialising, support networks, education and employment cut-off and minimised due to lockdown, social distancing and further social restrictions as COVID-19 continues to impact society, with no let up in sight. In a recent survey, Young Minds reported that 80% of young people in the UK agreed that the pandemic had made their mental health worse, with 87% stating that they felt lonely or isolated and 31% saying they were no longer able to access support but needed it.
In the last six months, we have experienced first-hand an upsurge in the number of young people we work with reporting issues with their mental health, evidenced by an increase of 200% in referrals for pastoral support during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mental health provision for young people was a challenge prior to the pandemic, as reported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission which states “In England, one-fifth of all children referred to local specialist NHS mental health services are not accepted for treatment (NSPCC, 2015)” and the situation is becoming harder for service providers as they deal with the an influx in cases.
We’re raising funds to plug the gap in mental health support for young people in East Kent.
Photo: Steve Kreeger
Young people are seeking urgent support for many reasons; having experienced trauma, anxiety and/or depression as a result of COVID-19, following a bereavement or illness affecting their loved ones, or those with a pre-existing mental illness are reaching out for help. Services are overwhelmed by the demand and waiting lists are growing daily. The longer the pandemic lasts, the greater the impact and the longer-lasting the effects.
Which is why we are acting urgently to ensure that no young person in Thanet, Dover and their surrounding districts, which has some of the most deprived wards in the country, is left behind.
Working with talented local artists Paul Camo and Rob Flowers, we have created two exclusive, limited edition T shirts in a bid to simultaneously raise vital donations and awareness, coinciding with World Mental Health Awareness Day (10 October) and Black History Month.
Aiming to raise at least £5,000, donations and all profits from the sale of the T shirts will go towards providing:
- Professional counselling for 11 - 18 year olds associated with the charity, equivalent to giving 15 young people access to six sessions with a qualified counsellor who specialises in treating adolescents, and 35 young people access to a one-off session.
- Creative intervention sessions that give 8 - 18 year olds a unique opportunity to work with a creative practitioner such as a musician or artist, spending studio time together and creating music, which will help towards alleviating some of their symptoms as well as develop employable skills.
Pie Factory Music believes that every young person has the right to access support and is committed to promoting and acting for racial justice and equality. Counselling services will encompass those who are navigating their cultural heritage and who have been victims of racism.
Paul Camo’s slogan tee references protest T shirts and placards, taking cues from the past to inspire action now as the fight for racial justice continues. The font is a unique typeface inspired by signs from a 1963 protest march, adapted from an old badge which states ‘STOP RACIST ATTACKS’.
Rob Flowers has created a vibrant visual expression of the words and objects Pie Factory’s young people use to define the charity and its work.
Product Photos: Jordan Mary
Now, we are calling on our community to ensure that every young mind matters by donating to the fundraiser. Every donation will help us bridge the gap in services in East Kent, enabling young people to improve their mental wellbeing and helping to give them a greater chance to thrive in this most challenging of times.
Activate your support > buy a T-shirt for £20 before 24 November
Pie Factory Music Managing Director says:
“2020 has been excruciating for our young people, who have had their lives turned upside down by the pandemic. Every young person has had to adjust to dramatic changes in their education or employment, routine and home life. Some have experienced bereavement or traumatic experiences during the lockdown period, while groups who were already marginalised or disadvantaged are now likely to become more so.
We feel it’s our duty to step in by creating immediate support, to reach our young people who need it now. But we can’t do it alone, we need our community to help us. We know it’s a tough time for everyone, but any small donation can go a long way to make a big difference. Please help us to show them that there are people who care - your support has never more been needed.”
Photo: Steve Kreeger
An All Party Parliamentary Group Creative Health inquiry into the Arts for Health and Wellbeing found that after engaging with participatory arts, 82% of those surveyed enjoyed greater wellbeing and it proved to help alleviate anxiety, depression and stress. The young people who connect with Pie Factory Music’s programmes have had a similar experience:
"During the pandemic, the Pie team have helped me a lot to cope with stress, giving me things to keep me occupied by dropping a book and pens, earphones and a stress ball, they’re always there over direct message, and have been there for me more in this time than anyone else. It means a lot." - Young person
“It’s focused my passion so it’s given me a lot more happiness and hope… I’ve not seen people for six months and they’ve met me [now] and been like ‘you’re really different and happy and bubbly now’, so I’m noticing it, people elsewhere are noticing it.” - Young Person
"With the systemic devaluing and dismantling of arts education and opportunities, organisations like Pie Factory are a vital resource, providing young people in East Kent with access to tools that build creative lives. When the guys from Pie Factory asked me to get involved with the fund raising campaign, I jumped a the chance to support the cause." - Rob Flowers
“What Pie Factory Music does, it’s pretty much saving people’s lives.” - Young Person
Help us make every young mind matter during COVID-19, donate today.
Photo: Steve Kreeger