Archive for July, 2023

Say no to cutting commissioned youth services

Posted on: July 27th, 2023 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

We need your help to save commissioned youth services in Kent!

We believe Kent County Council’s proposed cuts to commissioned youth services as part of the transformation to a new Family Hub model will significantly limit, and potentially eradicate, open-access youth work across the county, leaving the vast proportion of young people without sufficient accessible educational and leisure activities outside of school/college. Help us in speaking up against the cuts, by responding to the consultation by 13 September 2023.

Say no to the cuts

With 85% of a young person’s waking hours spent outside of school and formal education, where the loss of youth services is pronounced, vulnerable young people in particular are falling prey to loneliness, poor mental health and fear of youth violence or at risk of exploitation. In areas investing in youth services, we see a positive commitment to young people’s inclusion in decision-making, community engagement and increased life skills.

After a decade of cuts to local youth services exceeding 70%, and at a time of increased need and demand for youth services, it is not reasonable to further cut such services.

KCC are proposing to co-locate children and youth services under the new Family Hub framework. The proposal states KCC’s intention to deliver ‘in-house youth provision’ as part of the Family Hub model. KCC’s current youth provision, however, is focused on targeted case work, working with high-needs young people, which significantly limits the amount – if any – open-access youth work that KCC can deliver. The vast majority of current open-access youth work is being delivered by Kent’s commissioned providers, with Pie Factory Music delivering the commissions for Thanet and Dover districts. However, due to KCC needing to save money, they have taken the decision to cut existing commissioned youth services from the Family Hub model proposed.

Pie Factory Music, and other commissioned providers, believe that the proposed Family Hub model does not meet KCC’s statutory duty to secure sufficient educational and recreational leisure-time activities for young people which are for the improvement of their wellbeing, and sufficient facilities for such activities, which is required by the statutory duty for local authorities as outlined in Section 507b Education and Inspections Act 2006.

The added value that commissioned services such as those delivered by Pie Factory Music bring to the youth offer in Kent stand to be lost with the end of youth service commissions – such (and not limited to) music and creative arts programmes, sports, skating, cooking and bike maintenance projects, youth volunteering and social action projects, gardening groups and Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Pie’s CEO Zoë Carassik-Lord outlines the damaging impact the proposed model will have:

Zoë Programme Manager at Pie Factory Music. Woman with short close shaved hair, with a black zig zag earring and wearing a black top. Yellow background

We fail to see how the Family Hub proposal as it currently stands will satisfy KCC’s statutory duty to provide sufficient educational and recreational leisure-time activities for young people which are for the improvement of their wellbeing, as required in the statutory duty as outlined in Section 507b Education and Inspections Act 2006.

It is clear that commissioned youth services have been cut to save KCC money. We are concerned that cutting the commissioned youth services will be the end of open-access youth work delivered in purpose-built youth centres in Kent.

We’re asking you to say no to cutting commissioned youth services

Join us in opposing the proposed cuts to commissioned youth services, by responding to the consultation before the deadline of 13th September 2023.


1. Respond to the consultation via KCC’s website / email / phone number. Every response counts, and the more noise that is made, the more likely the services will be saved.

The consultation runs until 13 September 2023. 

Complete the online form at

Alternatively, fill in a paper form available from children’s centres and youth hubs and return it to Freepost FAMILY HUB SERVICES CONSULTATION. 

You can also give feedback by email, letter or phone at / 03000 419292.

2. Send a copy of your response to local politicians and encourage them to submit their own opposition to the proposal to the consultation.

Find KCC members

Find TDC councillors

Find MPs

3. Attend one of the community consultation events – we will be there! Bring placards
and banners!
For details, visit  

Tuesday 22 August 10am to 2pm, Dame Janet Primary Academy, Newington Road, Newington, Ramsgate CT12 6QY

Thursday 10 August 1-3pm, School field next to Sunflower Children’s Centre, Adelaide Road, Eythorne, Dover, CT15 4AN

Tuesday 15 August 11am-1pm, School field next to Samphire Children’s Centre, St David’s Avenue, Dover CT17 9HJ

4. Share the link to the consultation on your social media and encourage your followers to take part.

Use our pre-made social media image to add to your post.

A series of four icons representing a survey, letter, placard and social media sharing

Read the consultation documents

The consultation documents can be found at:
Summary document
Easy-read summary document
Easy read questionnaire (for submitting to the consultation)
Section 507b Education and Inspections Act 2006
Guidance for Local Authorities on Providing Youth Services (National Youth Agency)

Respond to the consultation

Thank you for taking action and speaking up.

If you’d like to talk to our team about Pie’s response to the consultation, email us at

Join Our Emerging Artists Programme 2023-2024

Posted on: July 24th, 2023 by pfm_master_us No Comments

Become a part of the next generation of talented artists making their mark on the music industry.

We’re looking for six Emerging Artists between the ages of 18-25 years* to join a FREE, year-long music development programme worth over £1,200!

This is the fourth year of our flagship programme, which is designed to help aspiring young artists based in East Kent develop their music careers with professionals. Selected participants will receive comprehensive guidance and invaluable insights into the music industry, covering essential topics such as promotion strategies, rights, management, recording techniques, and live performance, and gain access to East Kent’s vibrant community of like-minded young musicians, seasoned industry professionals and experts, and iconic local music venues.

The programme has already helped 23 young artists progress and develop their skills and learn new attributes to help them thrive as musicians and have a broader understanding of the industry. There have been many successful gigs that the young people have planned, booked and performed during the programme’s duration.

Over the course of a year, you will:

Receive personalised guidance from an expert industry mentor, chosen to match your specific skills and passions, to support your artistic journey. 

Receive a small pot of individual funding to create your own unique music project, such as recording an EP, organising an event, or creating a captivating music video. 

Join the team behind our youth record label Wantsum Music. This hands-on experience will allow you to delve into the intricacies of running a record label while fostering your artistic growth.

Past participants of The Emerging Artist Programme have also helped pioneer our youth-led Slice of Pie podcast which has been a huge success and helped to raise the voice of young people on important topics like poverty, barriers women face in the music industry and the future of Pie.

“Emerging Artists has been an incredible opportunity. It’s given me a platform, boosted my confidence, got me back to performing and connected me with the music community. I’m inspired by my peers every day. To be around like-minded people is so important.”

Connor Beerling, Emerging Artist 2020-21

What we ask of you:

How to apply:

Send us a short introduction about who you are (name, age, location, artist name, music and career interest, short biography), either written (email) or as a video. Attach a recording of your music, or point us to a video online where we can see/hear you. Alternatively, if you are interested in joining, not as an artist, but to explore a career in the music industry, please include this information in your intro with your areas of interest, such as management, promotion, journalism etc.

Send your application to

The deadline for applications is 6th August 2023.
The first Emerging Artists session will run on 23rd August 7-9 pm and will run weekly.

*applications of 16+ years may be considered.

Emerging Artist alumni, Elijah says:

“I didn’t just gain confidence and make music at Pie Factory Music, they taught me life skills, like how to collaborate with people, networking skills, how to set up my own gigs and how to approach others in the industry. Zoë was a big inspiration, she showed me how to market myself, and be professional but most of all she helped shape who I am today. I’ve since recorded my first album, performed at gigs in Kent and London, and Pie Factory Music introduced me to another music hub that has offered me funding for a new project.

Read Elijah’s story

This programme is generously funded by Youth Music.

Youth Music funding logo

Summer trips, workshops and sessions

Posted on: July 17th, 2023 by pfm_master_us No Comments

We’ve got an action-packed summer for young people in Thanet and Dover.

This July and August, we have a range of trips and workshops for 13 – 17 years olds, PLUS all our usual sessions.


21st July 2023 – Film night at Westwood X (Film to be announced soon), free.
25th July 2023 – Duke of Edinburgh prep (Pie HQ), free.
29th – 31st July 2023 – Duke of Edinburgh expedition, free.
4th August 2023 – Elev8 Activity Zone Trip (Thanet and Aylesham Juniors). Cost: £5
11th August 2023 – Beach Party at Ramsgate Main Sands, 1:30-3:30 pm, meet us there! free.
23rd-24th August 2023 – Junior camp out at Mystole Campsite, near Canterbury. Cost: £10
29th August 2023 – Betteshanger mountain biking trip. Cost: £5

How to book a place on a trip
We want to provide a great experience on our trips. Spaces are limited and on a first come first served basis.

Young people can sign up during session times or by emailing

We are covering the costs for our summer trips as far as we are able, but for some opportunities, there is a cost, which we’ve made as small as possible.


Games Factory

For young people aged 12-17, we have an introduction to creating simple, retro-inspired video games using the same tools as the professionals.

Working closely with our creative practitioner Dave Morris, you will be making your own version of an arcade classic, trying your hand at writing an interactive narrative adventure and diving into the world of 3D game creation. Along the way you’ll explore the history of video games, seeing how the past has inspired some of today’s biggest names. There will be the opportunity to play on some original home computers and consoles and even have our own arcade cabinet for you to try out!

Wednesday 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th August from 11am – 2pm at Pie HQ in Ramsgate (CT11 0QG)

Sign up for Games Factory by filling in this form.

Band Room: Take Two Music workshops

For anyone aged 13-17 years who is interested in music, take a journey to re-imagine and record your favourite cover songs and create a short EP on the Band Room: Take Two Project.

Under the expert guidance of our experienced creative practitioners, Matt Smyth and Dave Morris, delve into the realms of recording, producing, arranging, and playing as a band. Gain valuable insights into the EP release process, including brainstorming an EP name and designing the artwork. The EP will then be released on Pie Factory Music’s record label Wantsum Music?

Band Room: Take Two starts on Thursday 10 August at Pie HQ in Ramsgate (CT11 0QG).

Sign up for Band Room: Take Two by filling in this form.

Youth sessions

We’re running all our usual youth sessions in Thanet and Dover across the summer including Bike Project, Band Room, Live Room, our Youth Clubs, ACT! social action group and Open Arms.

See what’s on and what you can get involved with.