Article written by Lauren Tighe
The Sound Lab was set up in 2003 in memory of a young man from Tollcross, who was tragically killed whilst on holiday, upon realising there was a need to provide a creative outlet with a fun environment for young people in and around the East End of the city.
It is a small, grassroots charity, run entirely by volunteers, offering free music, media & arts tuition and programmes to young people, communities, disadvantaged groups and anyone looking for an opportunity to express their creative ideas.
We believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to develop their skills regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, religion, hair colour or shoe size, and our aim is to engage, educate and encourage as many people as possible to fulfil their creative potential.
Recent programmes include our Summer Sessions programme, which was a 12 week course offering free music tuition to young people aged 8-18, with them organising and performing at a live showcase event to their friends and family; our Sound Production course offering free tuition in sound production, Ableton, electronic mixing and DJ skills. One of the participants from this course was really keen to promote and put on his own club nights and with our help he is hosting his first club night at the end of the month in the city centre’s La Cheetah club!
We are presently running our Sunday Shindigs programme to welcome new arrivals to the city. We offer free music tuition, an opportunity to improve their English and really just provide a fun social activity, not only for refugees and asylum seekers but for anyone and their granny, in a celebration of integration throughout the city.
My involvement with The Sound Lab started in 2015 after seeing an ad online looking for volunteers. I had recently moved to the city and was looking for something to do in my spare time and as I had always wanted to work with young people and with having such a huge passion for music as I do I thought this sounded perfect for me!
Within months of volunteering and seeing the great work these guys were doing I decided to join the Board and now I find myself doing a bit of everything, from being the main point of contact for the charity, secretarial and admin duties, applying for funding, planning programmes, recruiting volunteers, meeting with young people, groups, partners, other organisations to promote the charity and our programmes, attending events, and I am currently studying to complete my PDA in Youth Work to add youth worker to my list of many roles I have with the Sound Lab.
It can be hectic and challenging at times, but getting to see the positive results our programmes have made to people really does make it all worthwhile and I am super proud to be a part of The Sound Lab.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jackson Boyd and all our other supporters for their generosity following the donations they have made to The Sound Lab. The work myself and the rest of the guys at The Sound Lab do is pointless if we don’t have the funds to be able to deliver these programmes that make such a difference to so many people, so a huge thank you from everyone at The Sound Lab!