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Care Leavers Album Project shortlisted for Creative Lives Award 2022

An album cover depicting a tunnel with graffiti on the walls

Making music is a creative way to express ourselves and share experiences with others. In early 2022 a group of care-experienced young people proposed the idea of making an album. Named ‘Different Beginnings’ the album is nearing completion, with the young people having planned and produced every aspect – from songwriting to planning the album launch event.

This month, our Care Leavers Album Project has been shortlisted for the Creative Lives People’s Choice Award 2022. The Creative Lives Awards are an annual celebration of the achievements of voluntary and community-led creativity.

Taking part in Different Beginnings gets me out the house, there are people to chat to which makes me feel less lonely and it’s a confidence booster.”



A close up of some hands turning dials in music production

People’s Choice Award

The Creative Lives People’s Choice Award invites the public to vote for their favourite project, and we encourage you to vote for The Album Project to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment and creativity of the care leavers who have co-curated this project.

Cast your vote

A close up of hands playing piano

Giving young people a creative voice

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-experience 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.




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


Developing the project

“It’s so great to hear the creative ideas the care leavers put forward” says Creative Producer Lu Bristow-Goldschmidt. “It’s amazing to watch them turn those ideas into actual pieces – be that artwork, music composition or lyric writing. All of the pieces have such deep meaning and a lot of the care leavers are using this as a way to communicate what they have been through.”

The 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 assigned 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 the young people


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


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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