The Lewis Project: offering hope through music
The Lewis Project based at The House in The Basement of the Stag theatre in Sevenoaks, was founded in 2015 by Michele Grace and Sandra Boxall. Through a personal awareness and understanding of mental health, the pair recognised a need for a music hub in their community in order to bring young people together, share experiences and create music.
Using the uplifting and unifying powers of music, the charity aims to promote mental wellbeing in young musicians aged 16+, who suffer with anxiety among similar mental health issues. By offering a platform to showcase their often hidden talents, Michele and Sandra have created a relaxed and non-intimidating atmosphere to prevent such individuals remaining silenced, isolated and depressed. Instead, young musicians are encouraged to showcase their talents, collaborate, practice, and explore their musical creativity amongst other likeminded young people.
Fully equipped with musical instruments to play, opportunities to join workshops, or to have group tuition if required, or even just to sit, have a coffee and listen, the project stands by its belief that ‘where there is music there is hope’. Run by volunteers for non-monetary gain, the centre is free to all and runs every Monday from 5pm-10pm. Membership has proven indispensable for the growth of the young people who have joined since its opening:
“We have seen first-hand how music can be such a powerful force in promoting mental wellbeing, by providing a space to allow young people to express themselves.
We have witnessed huge positive changes in our members over time as their confidence grows through the language of music and life-long friendships.
We believe every town should provide a music centre to promote the mental wellbeing of young people everywhere”
Hoping to welcome some new members through their door, Michele and Sandra are actively seeking fresh musical talents within the community. With five spaces currently open, the group are ready to build up another band or two. This is an exciting opportunity to get involved with gigs, play an eclectic mix of genres, and most importantly lift ones mood and make new friends. So if you are interested, or know anyone who would be, feel free to email them or drop in for a chat.