The Collective: Paige's journey

The Collective operates a successful music-based peer education project in Exeter. It has a track record of providing a mix of open-access generic music making activities that are attractive to young people in challenging circumstances.

 

Paige, 19,lives at the YMCA.

We met her at The Collective.

 

The Collective had identified that there can be some barriers for those young people – who might be, for example, young carers, young offenders or homeless – gaining access to its work. Daisi’s Soundwaves project helped The Collective explore their belief that regular weekly referral-based music sessions would be a useful way of giving young people in challenging circumstances access to quality, progressive musical opportunities in a safe, supportive environment.  Sessions looked like informal drop-in sessions, but were actually only for referrals from other services, arranged by Devon Youth Service.

 

Paige joined the project after Rich, from The Collective, regularly started dropping into the YMCA, making contact with Tim who is the project worker there, and meeting with the young people at their job club on a Thursday. This gave the young people and staff there the confidence to pay the project a visit. Paige was referred for a weekly music session at The Collective and has been working closely with the peer educators to help her fulfil her musical ideas. After an initial nervous start, Paige couldn’t wait to come every week, and has progressed well.

“She's come to us with lots of ideas – and we're using the skills of our peer-educators and their musical skills to help her see that through.”
Richard Doak, Senior Youth Support Worker for Devon Counties Youth Service.

“They're very good actually – they're very supporting. If I have a problem with a song, they always give me advice for it. I always get nervous and I don't belt it properly, and they’ve given me quite a bit of advice to do that and been very supportive with it.”
Paige

“Last week there was a moment when we recorded one of my songs... something that I didn't think was very good, and it actually sounds really good and I was quite surprised that it could become something like that, where it was just an idea at the beginning.”
Paige

 

“We encouraged her to bring her lyric books:  she brought piles and piles of books with her the first week. And just scanning through with her, starting to form ideas, we could see that she had brilliant lyrical poetry writing skills.”
Richard Doak, Senior Youth Support Worker for Devon Counties Youth Service.

“Last week I played one of my songs to the guys, with drums and guitar, and it was a really nice feeling, something I've always wanted to do. I panic when I sing, so it's very safe here.”
Paige.

 

 

Paige has signed up for a 10 hour music award, a Devon County youth service In House award, which is nearing completion. The Collective hope to see her joining generic sessions, getting involved with new projects, and the team will be signposting her to all the other sessions there, alongside the Arts Award as a way to continue after she has passed through this project. Tim, her case worker, has seen her grow:

“Within the project, one thing that stands out for me is that she has been able to meet new and like-minded people and then record and perform some of her ideas with them. This has been very beneficial both musically and self-confidence wise. I think that Paige appreciated the support of getting up to the Centre each week.”
Tim Wells, Case Worker at YMCA

 “It has been great seeing Paige engage and express herself musically with other young people. With the guidance of Devon Youth Service staff, who have taken time and shown themselves to be very expert in what they do, Paige has benefited tremendously from the project and it will hopefully be a stepping- stone onto other things.”
Tim Wells, Case Worker at YMCA