Tamla Thornton’s guide to the local music scene

With a mission to support vulnerable children and young people in Torbay, Sound Communities CIC are working to connect, engage and inspire young people through radio and music production, encouraging confidence, raising aspirations, developing creativity, and improving mental health.

For young people experiencing mental health issues, gaining access to support before the age of 14 is crucial to reducing a significant impact in adulthood.

In a study conducted by Young Minds, statistics show that one in eight children have a diagnosable mental health disorder, with half of all mental health problems manifesting by the age of 14.

However, less than half of vulnerable young adults suffering the effects of mental health are able to access the support and resources needed, often due to a lack of being able to express themselves openly.

Acting as a medium for processing emotions, trauma and grief, both creating and listening to music is a powerful remedy for helping to alleviate mental health issues in children and young people.

Mike Cook, director of Sound Communities CIC, talks about the benefits of music on mental health children and young people: “For a young person, being taught the process to record/produce and share their thoughts through music or radio is a powerful experience that allows them to build confidence and positive wellbeing.

“Music is a powerful therapeutic tool that a lot of young people engage with in different forms. Being able to create a track that shares their thoughts and feelings is a way of approaching topics that they may usually struggle to talk about.

“It’s a tool that enables them to ensure that their voice is heard which is incredibly important for young people nowadays”

Sound Communities work with vulnerable children and young people in pupil referral units, schools and the community, creating positive change through through their expanding programme of radio and music production workshops, broadcasts, consultancy, alternative provision and employability training.

Their youth-led flagship radio programme, Ocean Youth Radio, connects hundreds of young people in Torbay, sharing experiences on topics such as domestic abuse, anxiety and sexual abuse.

Mike Cook said; “Our production activities and broadcasts counteract the cultural, social and emotional isolation that many young people here face. Involvement with Ocean Youth Radio is transformative for hundreds of our most disadvantaged CYP.”

You can learn more about Sound Communities’ transformative projects for the youth of Torbay at soundcommunities.co.uk @SoundCommunitiesCIC