Thanks to funding from London Borough of Hackney we’re providing services for East London NHS Foundation Trust at the medium-secure John Howard Centre in Hackney, East London.

Our specially trained music industry mentors are supporting patients with recovery-focused studio sessions on the wards.

Patients who wish to develop their interests and skills further can progress to the 12-week Music Industry Recovery Programme and other activities we offer at our Old Street centre, a short journey away from the hospital.

Our team recently provided an unusual project on Clerkenwell Ward, a ward at the John Howard Centre for males with a Learning Disability, to record a hip hop safety awareness song. This sort of preparedness is essential for helping them progress to having episodes of un-escorted leave from the unit and means that staff know they are safe in the community.

Lucy Bermange, Lead Learning Disability Occupational Therapist at the unit takes up the story:

“I thought of the idea of making a music video to make the road safety assessment more interactive and fun, as well as a way of ensuring that service users were involved in the project.

We were really fortunate in that Peter Leigh, CEO of the charity Key Changes, got involved. They were essential in putting the video together and run amazing projects at The John Howard Centre.

I re-wrote the lyrics of the Jessie J song ‘Payback’ and directed the video. Key Changes very kindly stated that they would help with the music production and editing of the video for no cost.

We have incorporated the video in our ‘Safe Travels’ group which is a cross-site group across the Learning Disability wards at the John Howard Centre. Service users who need to practise their road safety will watch the video and will be expected to plan and lead a community group with the support of the Occupational Therapy service.”