Author Archive

Soundcheck fundraiser

Posted on: November 3rd, 2021 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Help Pie level the score for young minds

Last year we launched our campaign to support young people’s mental health. We’ve helped 63 11 – 18 years in East Kent access instant, free professional counselling and creative sessions and 1-2-1s thanks to your generosity. Yet the surge in referrals isn’t letting up and health service waiting lists are getting longer.

One year on, we want to do even more, we can do more – with your help. 

We’ve reopened the fundraiser – in 30 days we hope to raise £1,500 to give a further 30 young people counselling and creative sessions. 

Play your part

This is why we are taking action – to ensure that no young person in the most deprived wards in Kent – Thanet and Dover – is left behind.

Pastoral care is a core part of what we do at Pie and has grown in the last 18 months, from food and self-care packages and vouchers for low-income families, to sessions in schools and our counselling stream.

We’ve reacted to what our young people need because they come first. 

The true impact of the pandemic is being felt now. The reality of fewer employment opportunities, rising living costs and dealing with collective and individual trauma and grief is all too real. By offering more counselling and mental health support, we aim to give young people the tools they need now to help them get through this difficult time and prevent years of struggle. They’re not alone.

The tees

Talented local artists Paul Camo and Rob Flowers created two exclusive, limited edition T-shirts for us. They represent Pie – who we are, what we do and what we stand for – equality and access for all and enhancing lives through music.

Rob Flowers a slice of the pie tee is a visual explosion of the words and objects our young people use to define who we are and what we do. 

With the systemic devaluing and dismantling of arts education and opportunities, organisations like Pie Factory Music are a vital resource, providing young people in East Kent with access to tools that build creative lives. When the guys from Pie Factory asked me to get involved with the fundraising campaign, I jumped at the chance to support the cause

Paul Camo’s anti-racism slogan-tee references protest T-shirts and placards, taking cues from the past to inspire action now as the fight for racial justice continues. The font is a unique typeface, inspired by signs from a 1963 protest march, adapted from an old badge, which states ‘STOP RACIST ATTACKS’.

When Pie Factory Music approached me to create a T-shirt to raise funds, there was absolutely no question for me about getting involved in this very important project and worthwhile cause

This soft-cover A4 sketchbook is ready to be filled with sketches, ideas, thoughts, feelings – whatever you like. There’s a power in putting pen or pencil to paper to help soothe the mind and spark creativity.

Activate your support

Every donation will help us bridge the gap in services in East Kent, enabling young people to improve their mental wellbeing and helping to give them a greater chance to thrive as the long-term impact of the pandemic takes full force. 

Buy a tee

Donate without a tee

All donations Pie receives from 5 November to 4 December 2021 will go towards the Soundcheck fundraiser.

Pie Factory Music sessions.

Please help spread the word to help us raise the volume for young people.

Thank you

Gift Aid

Posted on: November 2nd, 2021 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Make your donations go further with Gift Aid

Through the Government’s Gift Aid scheme, Pie Factory Music can claim an additional 25p for every £1 you donate. So if you are a UK taxpayer, you can increase the value of your donations to us by 25%, at no extra cost to yourself! Simply fill in your details below and tick the box to confirm your taxpayer status.

We will use the details provided to update your record and to process your donations to us. Please note: we can only claim Gift Aid if you provide your first name, surname and home address.

Gift Aid declaration

I am a UK taxpayer and would like Pie Factory Music to reclaim the tax on all donations I have made in the last four years and for all future gifts of money that I make to be Gift Aid donations.

Gift Aid

Emerging Artists launch Wantsum Music? record label

Posted on: October 29th, 2021 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Pie’s 2021 Emerging Artists are launching their own record label, Wantsum Music?

After a year of developing their own talents with the help of local music industry mentors, the collective has come together to create the label to give fellow aspiring young musicians in East Kent a platform to promote and distribute their music.

Wantsum Music?

Photo: Steve Kreeger

Connor Beerling, Zico Briki, Claire Pitt Wigmore, Adam Pullman and Conor Stanfield are focussed on helping emerging artists across Thanet, East Kent and beyond find their voice and footing in the music scene.

“We want to give local young musicians similar opportunities and support we received as part of the Emerging Artists programme. It was clear to all of us that Thanet is a booming area for the creative arts, and we believe that young musicians need and deserve a way to showcase their talents too. Being signed up to a huge record label is daunting, and we’d been really inspired by what our Mentor from Moshi Moshi Music had achieved – they fully supported our ambition and so we’ve taken the initiative.”

The Wantsum Music? collective

Do you Wantsum Music?

Launch party: Thursday 2 December, 7pm at Tom Thumb Theatre.
Tickets – £3 for under 18s, £5 for over 18s, pay on the door.

One of the unique aspects WM? is that there is no set genre or type of music – all genres are welcome – “it’s about giving an opportunity to young home-grown talent, whatever the genre. We’re a collective made up of musicians creating a plethora of sounds. We want to represent that in the artists we support. WM? is a channel to get them into the sea of music, successfully and supportively” says Claire.

Adam, who has recently become Programme Assistant at Pie, says that “being a part of a community of musicians is an important aspect of the label”.

The label is supported by Pie Factory Music through generous funding from Youth Music and Thanet-based global record label Moshi Moshi Music.

Emerging Artists began in 2018 in response to requests to learn more about the music industry:

“I was being approached by more and more young musicians in our youth club sessions about how to get gigs, how to release music, how to ‘get signed’, and I realised there was a real need for a programme for young musicians dedicated to learning this stuff” says Pie’s Programme Manager Zoe Carassik-Lord

The programme pairs a group of up to 10 young people with a local music industry mentor over the course of a year, nurturing their talent and giving them essential know-how about the music industry, as well as opportunities to perform live, host gigs, attend masterclasses and meet and connect with fellow young musicians.

This year’s mentors have included Michael McClatchey of Moshi Moshi records, Beth Clayton from Boom Shakalaka Productions, Harriet Jordan-Wrench from Secret Sessions, Bianca Rose and Loretta Andrews from I Am Independent, and Kimberly Ann, Creative Director of Palm Bay Records.

Michael from Moshi Moshi says:

“Having worked in music for a number of years it’s easy to lose sight of what first drew you to running a record label. Working with the group on Wantsum Music? has served as a reminder of that and their enthusiasm and ambition has been a tonic for me.”

The programme has provided unparalleled opportunities for folk singer and WM? founder Connor Beerling

“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 likeminded people is so important.”

After the most challenging of times for young people, Pie’s Managing Director Steph Dickinson reflects that

“To see a group of Pie’s young people come together to create an innovative new venture for fellow young people is astounding. We couldn’t be more proud or excited about Wantsum Music? In a time when young people face unprecedented challenges, the Emerging Artists are leading us into 2022 full of hope and inspiration. We urge everyone to support the group and the label – listen, like, share, join!”

Find Wantsum Music? at and follow them on Instagram @Wantsum_Music

Youth Music

Left to right: Adam Pullman, Conor Stanfield, Connor Beerling, Claire Pitt Wigmore, Zico Briki. Photos: Steve Kreeger

Piece of the Pie – Sirens Journey

Posted on: August 17th, 2021 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

In autumn 2020, we brought together a group of female and genderqueer 13–18-year-olds for a new programme, where we support their musical growth, as listeners and burgeoning musicians,

“Sirens” was born. Sirens are: Annabel, Betsy, Bunni, Demi, Ellie, Harmony, Katie, Laura and Zoe.

In a year where the world faced a global pandemic and living life online, Sirens have achieved extraordinary things, independently and together. This is their journey…

A love of music

Programme producer Rachel Connelly wanted the programme to be “a foundation music course for young people – they’re already into listening to music, but I wanted to really get them into questioning what music is, listening to different types of music together, critiquing what they hear and developing their own musicianship as independent artists in a safe, open, supportive space”.

Every week over the past year, they’ve come together at dedicated musical sessions.

Drawing on their shared passion for listening to music, the group started the programme by taking part in listening sessions, where they could hear and discover each other’s tastes as well as being introduced to new musical genres, new artists, particularly female and genderqueer musicians. After an inspirational visit from Amy Redmond, Director of POW!, there was a listening session where songs all related to protest, inspired by the theme of that year’s POW! Thanet Festival. From sound came thought-provoking conversations about feminism, what it means to be female and genderqueer in the music industry, in the past and now, and much more.

Performing live – online, at home!

In late 2020, Sirens were practising and preparing to perform for their first live gig – a collaboration with POW! entitled, Play at Home’. The pandemic halted all in-person opportunities to perform, but that didn’t dissuade this passionate and energetic group, who rose to the occasion by performing live online.

Sirens perform their ‘Play at Home’ live online gig for POW! Festival

Supported by musician and vocal coach Daisy Beau, Sirens learnt how to prepare for a livestream gig, from singing to creating their own backgrounds and outfits. They, and POW!’s audience, had a blast as each member wowed with their individual performances and compering skills (watch the gig, below). So much confidence, skill and delight to play was evident and astonishing given they’d only been able to meet online so far.

Inspirational introductions

Throughout 2021, the group met inspirational local and London based female and genderqueer musicians and industry experts through a series of online conversations and workshops. They chatted to Carli Jefferson from Lunatraktors, Ray Predergast from Pink Suits, DJ Hannah Holland, Black Gold Buffalo, as well as Maxie Gedge from the PRS Foundation.

Songwriting skills

After a Klezmer workshop with cellist Francesca Ter-Berg, a summer song writing course followed, where Sirens worked for 8 weeks towards creating independent work, but also wrote a song together as a group for another gig, which this time would be in person.

Sirens worked with Francesca Ter-Berg on an 8 week songwriting course

A real-life gig!

The Art 31 BounceBack festival took place on Saturday 26 June 2021 at the Gulbenkian in Canterbury. Harmony from Sirens had a chance to perform some of her own songs, plus the group showcased their brand-new track, which was sung, composed and produced collectively

Sirens perform at the Art31 BounceBack Festival
Sirens at the Art31 BounceBack Festival

The event was programmed and planned by ART31 Generate, a group of young people from Kent aged 13-25 years. BounceBack was a digital festival, but 100 of the young creatives participating in the festival attended, giving Sirens networking opportunities with their peers.

“I have loved every second of the events that we have taken part in, which includes performing live on stage at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury. We were invited by ART31 to take part in their online festival. This is such a great thing, because I would have never have had the chance to perform the song that we wrote as a group to the whole world if they wanted to watch it, and I would never have had the chance to meet other inspiring groups.”

Laura, Sirens member

Recording a song together

After the gig, the group have wasted no time in creating their next venture – recording their track, Chocolate Box Full of Swordfish, at Palm Bay Music (listen below). Working with Kimberly Anne – Gold selling writer and platinum-selling artist – they were guided in studio recording, editing and production, gaining on-hand experience of what it’s like to record as a musician, in a world-renowned local studio.

“To be in an actual studio with Kim has been amazing. She has shared skills with us that we can use in the future and is very positive to us about our capabilities and how we can develop and use them”

Laura, Sirens member
Listen to Sirens song – Chocolate Box Full of Swordfish

Summer solo gigs

During summer 2021, Harmony performed for our very own ACT social action group’s Family Fun Day, and Zoe was sponsored by Morag and Chris at Rosslyn Court in Margate, to take part in a workshop with vocal coach Hughie Gavin, leading to performing a solo gig.

Creating soundwaves

As the year-long programme itself ends, Sirens continues – the group will be leading Pie’s weekly drop-in studio sessions in the autumn, working with our team member Matt to inspire and guide fellow young people and watch this space for more releases from these amazing upcoming artists.

“The group have been incredible. I really wanted to create a diverse programme that offered different ways for the group to engage with their musicality. With so many challenges presented by the pandemic, it’s even more staggering what they have achieved, individually and together. I’m so proud of all of them, for their passion, commitment, how they’ve grown as musicians and in confidence. I’m so excited to see them continue on their musical journey and to what’s coming next.”

Rachel Connelly, Programme Lead

“We know that females and non-binary people are significantly underrepresented in the music industry, and we wanted to carve out a space at Pie Factory Music for female and non-binary young people to create, develop and be empowered in their own musical journeys. What Sirens as a group has achieved over the last year is truly special. We’re excited to see what the first cohort of our Sirens go on to do next, and we’re excited to open up the group to a new community of Sirens in autumn 2021!”

Zoe, Programme Manager at Pie

Youth Worker Opportunity

Posted on: August 16th, 2021 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

If you would like to be part of a creative, community-focused organisation with a dedication and passion for young people then read on…

The Role

Pie Factory Music is seeking a motivated and passionate Youth Worker to join our core team to help to facilitate the successful delivery of our Youth Work Programme. This role is ideal for someone who is passionate about young people and who wants to make a positive impact in their lives. 

The role of Youth Worker will involve delivering a range of centre and street-based sessions, working with and supporting young people whilst they engage in positive activities. It will include designing, delivering, and evaluating activities.

Hours: 37 hours per week (including 3 evenings per week and some weekend work)
Salary: £20,000 – £21,500 depending on experience
Location: Various locations across Thanet and Dover
Contract Type:  Fixed Term until 31st October 2022 (with potential for extension)

To find out more about the role please download the Job Description here.

To apply for this role please download and complete the Application Form here.

This post is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure Application to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Please return your completed application form to

Closing date: Thursday 30th September 2021

Interview Date: Friday 8th October 2021

If you have any questions or would like to talk about this role please call 01843 596777 and ask to speak to Luis.

Summer of Fun 2021

Posted on: August 2nd, 2021 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Thanks to Reconnect Funding we’re able to offer an incredible programme of activities for young people in Thanet and Dover throughout the summer holidays. If you’d like to sign up to any of our FREE activities, please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch 😊

Summer of Fun 2021 - Young People Online Signup