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‘THINK OF UNLEASHED AND YOU THINK OF A LION!..IN THAMESMEAD THERE WEREN’T ENOUGH OPTIONS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE CREATIVE. IF SOMEONE WANTED TO PLAY, SING, RAP OR GENUINELY EXPRESS THEIR CREATIVITY, THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE AREN’T THERE!’
– FOUNDING MEMBER -ARJAN RAI
In 2019, 18 young people took part in a music production and artist development project called Unleashed at the Link in Thamesmead. The sessions were led by 2 local music producers and a Peabody young ambassador. Over the 2-week period, participants gained new skills in digital recording, communication and performance management.
As a result of Unleashed, 4 young participants chose to use the skills they had learnt to fill a gap in local service provision and start a business. Supported by the Youth division of the Socio-Economic Team at Peabody, the 4 founders created ‘Think Unleashed’; a business which aims to provide young people with skills in the following areas: mentoring, music workshops, creativity sessions and events.
How did ’Think Unleashed’ Start?
It started off as an idea, quite a few of us started meeting up weekly… but we could only carry on with people who wanted to do it seriously. Once we agreed on an idea, we pitched our ideas to Nadia (Youth and Development Co-Ordinator) and Kay (Youth Programme Manager). They were the ones who helped us to create the vision and a sustainable plan.
You are using music and creativity to bring young people together. How does this work?
At the end of July we launched Think Unleashed with a games day at The Link. We had FIFA Championship, music, football, nail art, table tennis and loads of games such as Connect 4, draughts, Monopoly, Jenga and cards. We want kids to be excited when they come here and know that they are in a safe, relaxed space where they can socialise, meet new people and find different ways to be entertained and creative.
We also used the day to promote our music production project and other events that we are planning to hold in the future.
Around 60 young people between the ages of 13 – 17 turned up and it was really difficult to get them to leave in the end, as they were enjoying themselves so much!
What advice would you give to a young person looking to set up their own business?
Creating change is something most people think is impossible or difficult, there’s support out there. I want to be known for changing lives, not complaining about it! By starting your own business, you get to do what makes you happy…. Being part of the change I see around me, helps to get me out of bed in the morning, not just a 9-5!
Next steps; What is the current situation and future goals of ‘Think Unleashed’?
We currently operate in the capacity of a Limited Company and Social Enterprise. We plan to open up and compete for commissioning of youth services in Thamesmead and if successful, take it to a national level…it would be great if these sessions were happening in Manchester and Birmingham!
Check out Think Unleashed