Christian charity Benefact Trust has awarded a grant of £67,000 to help a London charity support young people through music.
XLP uses music and the arts to bring harmony into the lives of young people growing up in communities with a lack of opportunity and it will use the grant to supply youth workers with recording studio equipment to go into the hearts of communities. It aims to create safe spaces for young people who struggle daily with issues like family breakdown and gang violence.
Jonathan, one of the youth workers on the project, said: "Music is an incredible way to experience freedom when opportunities around you feel chained up and can't see a way out."
XLP works with more than 2,500 young people from across nine inner-city London boroughs every year,empowering young voices to seek positive futures. It was set up in 1996, in response to a stabbing in a school playground.
The school's headmaster invited Patrick Regan OBE, a local youth worker at the time, to come into the school, work with their students and teachers, and help with difficult behavioural issues. After 22 years running XLP, Regan left to set up the charity, Kintsugi Hope, which helps to improve mental wellbeing.
XLP said this new project will be turning the volume up on every voice.
Malachi is one young person who's had his opportunities raised. He went to the music project after he was arrested. The Youth Offending Service he was at highlighted XLP as a positive space for him.
Malachi said: "Music is my passion. XLP gave me opportunities after I came out of jail. The youth
workers showed me so much love and have helped me develop my music. Before I was at XLP I
wasn't taking things seriously, but XLP have had a massive impact on my life and helped me take
music serious. They also had a positive impact on my decision to go to university to study music."
Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: "It is a privilege to support XLP as they use music to connect with vulnerable young people, giving them the opportunity to build their confidence, express themselves and thrive in a safe environment. This unique project will help many young people to lead brighter futures."