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Care-experienced Young People's Album Project recognised at Creative Lives Awards

Four young people stand and are presented with an award in front of a backdrop with text: Creative Lives

In January we revealed that our Care-experienced young people’s Album Project had been shortlisted for the Creative Lives Awards 2022, an annual celebration of the achievements of voluntary and community-led creativity. The awards took place this year at Aspire in Leeds on 7 March.

We are proud that the Album Project was recognised twice at the awards – as runner up of the England award, and as the joint winner of the Peer Award for Excellence.

I am so proud that our driven, talented, care experienced young people are getting some recognition and getting heard. The music and creative ideas they have are so original.

I’m often lost for words and feel inspired after spending time with them. As a group of young people, they experience many challenges, yet they stick at it and many of them support each other. It’s an amazing achievement, and so well deserved and I’m so pleased for them.”

Lu Bristow-Goldschmidt, Creative Producer

A large group of people wearing smart clothes pose in front of a screen that says 'Creative Lives Awards 2022'. Some people are holding certificates while some people wave at the camera.
Creative Live Awards 2022

I’ve been writing since I was 11 to be able to express my emotions and trauma, it’s a good way of dealing with my mental health.

The album project has allowed me to get my and other young people’s voices heard. I am so happy Bristol Beacon won the award as all the hard work Lu and young people have done has been worth it.”


A close up of hands playing piano

Giving young people a creative voice

A care-experienced young person, sometimes known as a care leaver, is a young person over 16 who has spent time in care. This might be foster care or residential care.

Bristol Beacon has been working creatively with care-experienced young people in Bristol for six years. The programme has youth voice at its very core, and young people curate and co-devise the content, suggest project ideas and lead activities.

Developing the project

The Album Project is a chance for young care leavers to devise and manage their own creative project and express themselves through music.

19 care leavers participate in the sessions, with seven young people sitting on a steering group, meeting regularly to guide and develop the project.

The group assign each other roles including:

  • songwriting
  • logo designing
  • sound
  • lighting
  • writing and production
  • event planning

Throughout the project, participants learned new skills in workshops and 1:1 sessions with professional musicians and artists, including songwriting with Lady Nade, music production with DJ/producer Chiara Tedeschi (Ef Kia) and graphic design with artist and musician James Kennaby.

The album is due for online release later in 2023 and the project will culminate in a launch event organised and produced by the young people.


An album cover depicting a tunnel with graffiti on the walls
'Different Beginnings' Album Art created by care experienced young people


The album project gave me the spark to think I could perform myself”



I feel as if the sessions are focused on my creative ideas.”


Creativity through music

Through the power of creating joyful music together, we hope to enrich lives, empower people with creative potential, and build healthy and happy communities.

The Different Beginnings Album Project complements our Hope Creative programme working with young people in care, our sessions with adopted teens and young carers to express themselves and connect through music. Sessions explore singing and creative musical activities in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

The Different Beginnings Album Project is run in partnership with Bristol City Council.

We also host fortnightly social music sessions for foster carers in Bristol. Free to join, with no need to read music, and no need to have any prior musical experience, the sessions aim to bring foster carers together for enjoyment, relaxation, and to improve mental and physical health.

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