Raw Sounds provides music workshops in hospitals and in the community for people experiencing mental ill health.

Over the past twelve weeks participants have been creating new and original music. We invite you to a showcase of work to witness participants development as musicians and the positive impact creativity has on wellbeing.

If you’ve referred a client to the programme or are interested in our work at Raw Sounds please do come along.

Free and delicious Caribbean food provided!

Optimized-Raw Sounds gig

Raw Sounds was one of 24 arts organisations selected to present their work to health commissioners at the Aesop showcase at the Royal Festival Hall, making the case for investment in arts organisations working in a health context.

Raw Sounds programme managers, a participant and a health advocate spoke on the local context of our mental health programme and issues specific to South London communities, the positive impact our project makes on participants mental health and wellbeing, and benefits of the service in terms of cost and capacity saving for NHS services.

Dr David O’Flynn, Consultant Psychiatrist at Lambeth and Maudsley hospitals gave case studies of his patients’ progress through Raw Sounds, and spoke of the cost saving that attendance at our service contributes to – by supporting patients during their transition from living in hospital (at £500 per night) to living independently in the community. He advocates ‘Raw Sounds reaches the person, rather than the illness offering something that is relevant to their lives‘.

Listen to our Radio interview from 23:05 on Radio 4‘s Today programme to hear how community music saves NHS England money.


This month, Arts Professional have published a special edition focusing on mental health. Rhoda Dakar, music mentor on the Raw Sounds programme, has contributed an article about the creative therapies on offer for mental health patients, and advocates for a model which supports self expression through a humanist approach.
Read the full article here.

“When living with a mental illness, you feel your life is out of control, so any form of rigour you can establish gives the verisimilitude of the reins being back in your hands. Having a regular appointment with an opportunity to make music (your music) is hard to resist if it is an artform you love. Drinking deep from its well will not only refresh you, but also reanimate you.”


Young People’s Programmes at Tate Britain and Tate Modern are partnering with Raw Material’s mental health programme to engage young musicians with visual arts. Participants will work with contemporary and emerging artists to explore identity, style, visual representation, music promotion and performance skills, culminating in producing their own album artwork to takeaway and share across their own channels. Initiated by a consultation with participants to the Raw Sounds programme, Tate will commission artists to deliver workshops in photography and graphic design. The project will include a visit to Tate Britain, led by Tate’s young people’s cohort Tate Collective London, leading to a showcase of work at the Raw Sounds end of term gig on the 11th August. The project will enhance existing projects run by Raw Material, provide artist development support and broaden horizons for young people involved.
Project dates in June, July and August 2016.
Tate Collective London is part of Circuit, led by Tate and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Circuit logo


The Raw Sounds team lead a workshop about supporting participants with mental health needs for the Challenging Circumstances Music Network [http://www.sound-connections.org.uk/what-we-do/training-and-development/challenging-circumstances-network] last week. The training day covered a range of topics, from the complex needs of participants and fluidity of diagnosis, to navigating services and applying youth work values. The workshop received extremely positive feedback, and Sound Connections have commissioned a briefing paper from the team so as to share this knowledge throughout the sector.

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