Mental health patients making music thanks to new recording studio
PUBLISHED: 19:30 18 September 2020
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Men being cared for on an Ipswich mental health ward have been given the chance to become DJs thanks to a new recording studio.
The new opportunities come following the £15,000 development of Foxhall House after patients took an interest in rapping and producing their own music using a laptop and karaoke microphone.
Among the music being produced in the studio is the works of “The Flu Crew”, who rap about the importance of keeping safe this winter and getting vaccinated.
The group made their live performance debut at a special open day for service users and their families, where a new garden created with the help of the Beth Chatto Foundation was also unveiled.
Christopher Price, a clinical support worker for the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, who has been at the centre of the plan, said: “Service users said they wanted to make their own music and record themselves rapping.
“It basically started with me bringing my laptop in and using a cheap karaoke microphone. But then I reached out to some music tech companies who donated £3,000 of equipment.”
Mr Price also raised money for the group by completing last year’s Great East Swim, making £500 to help buy a second-hand iMac computer and speakers.
An order is now being placed for a new mixing desk, drum kit and microphones and fellow support worker and music production graduate Peter Weatherley will join Mr Price in running the groups.
He added: “Rapping, singing and playing instruments gives service users a real lift in mood, helps them focus and gives them a sense of achievement.”
Head of secure services Emma Lewis said: “What a great way to end the summer with an event in our very own garden at Foxhall House; a place both staff and patients have worked hard to make as peaceful and beautiful as possible as part of the wider Quality Improvement plan. I was so pleased to be able to see the first live performance of the Flu Crew too.”
Foxhall House, located on the former St Clement’s Hospital site, houses 16 young men living with mental health illnesses who are at risk of offending.
A low security unit, it cares for people living with schizophrenia among other conditions.
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