Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Be a part of Band Room: Take Two

Posted on: June 28th, 2023 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Calling young music enthusiasts aged 13-17 years… join us on a journey to re-imagine and record your favourite cover songs and make a short EP.

The EP will be released on Pie Factory Music’s record label Wantsum Music?.

Under the expert guidance of our experienced creative practitioners, Matt Smyth and Dave Morris, you will delve into the realms of recording, producing, arranging, and playing as a band. Additionally, you’ll gain valuable insights into the EP release process, including brainstorming an EP name and designing the artwork.

Whether you play an instrument, sing, create beats, or have an interest in music technology and recording, we would love to hear from you!

The Take Two recording project starts on Thursday 10th August at Pie Factory Music HQ in Ramsgate (CT11 0QG) and runs for eight weeks.

Take the first step by filling out this application form

Open Arms Moving Stories exhibition

Posted on: June 9th, 2023 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

In the last year, youth charity Pie Factory Music has welcomed over 50 young unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees to its Open Arms sessions. To celebrate the compassion-led project’s first anniversary, the charity is holding an art exhibition of young people’s work during Refugee Week (17 – 25 June 2023).

Moving Stories showcases activist art created by the young refugees and asylum seekers aged 13 to 21 years from the Open Arms project and will be on show at Discovery Planet on Ramsgate High Street. The works amplify their voices and share important messages of compassion, positivity, resilience, and community, as powerful stories of their journey and lived experience.

A artwork banner with the word 'Hope' written on it, created by young people from Pie's Open Arms sessions

Every Friday, the free Open Arms social sessions have created a warm, welcoming and inclusive space for young people from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Kurdistan, Ukraine, Syria and other countries who have fled their homes seeking asylum in the UK. Together, they make music and art, play games, dance and cook traditional recipes from their home countries, whilst making friends and connections and learning life skills. They’ve also taken part in new experiences such as Discovery Planet‘s science-inspired workshops.

Pie Factory Music CEO Zoë Carassik-Lord says:

“We started the Open Arms sessions last June in response to the growing need to provide a safe space for ALL young people in East Kent. It’s our duty at Pie to be here for every and any young person in and coming to East Kent. The programme demonstrates how people from different backgrounds can support and befriend each other, bridging cultural differences in a celebration of diversity and unity. We are immensely proud of this programme, which has inspired other organisations to create space for young asylum seekers and refugees too. We’d love for as many people in our community to celebrate these young people by coming to the exhibition, which we can’t wait to welcome people to, with open arms.”

Some of the powerful messages in the Moving Stories exhibition include:

“There’s a past version of you that is so proud of how far you have come.”

In this heartfelt message, a participant reflects on her own challenging journey, as well as the difficult journeys of many others who have made it to the UK. This is a message of resilience and progress.

“When you see me, ask me a question.”

This message emphasises the importance of getting to know someone before making judgements and reflects on how asylum seekers and refugees often face racism, exclusion, and judgement. It urges people not to judge someone based on preconceptions or stereotypes but rather to approach them with curiosity and understanding.

Open Arms: Moving Stories – Compassion & Migration
Discovery Planet, 47 High St, Ramsgate CT11 9AG
Saturday 17th June 2023, 10am – 4pm
Entry is free
The exhibition will remain in place until Thursday 22nd June.

Open Arms sessions
Every Friday, 5 – 7:30pm
Pie Factory Music, Ramsgate Youth Centre
High St, St Lawrence, Ramsgate, CT11 0QG

*There will be a brief break from activities from Friday 30th June to Friday 4th August, resuming on Friday 11th August. We look forward to continuing our journey of building connections, promoting compassion, and empowering young unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees in Kent.

Open Arms is a programme for Young Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers and Refugees, 13 – 21 years old, in the care of Kent County Council/Medway local authority or another local authority and generously funded by NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group.

Bits and Bites – Youth Foodbank

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

Our youth-led volunteer group ACT (Action Community Thanet!) has launched a youth food bank. ‘Bits and Bites’ is now open for young people aged under 25 years to access during Pie sessions and office opening hours at our Pie HQ in Ramsgate (CT11 0QG).

ACT is very aware that people around them may be struggling at the moment, especially with the UK’s current cost of living crisis. The importance of having a foodbank created by young people, for young people, has become a priority. ‘Bits and Bites’ is intended to help young people have fewer barriers to accessing essential food and toiletries.

Young people can access the food bank by coming to Pie HQ. The ‘Bits and Bites’ packages can be found in the foyer area. There’s no need to speak to anyone, just help yourself. The Food Bank is open during office times (Mon to Fri 9:30am – 5pm except for Bank Holidays) and when our Thanet youth sessions are running. For a timetable of our Thanet sessions, click the button below.

Having conversations when you’re struggling can be really hard and this is something that ACT has seen. However, in their recent Podcast Episode: Social Action with Pie’s Emerging Artists Conor and Zico they said that Pie was a really welcoming space when it comes to having those difficult conversations and that they hope that young people continue to feel comfortable chatting with their peers and supporting one another.

With huge thanks to Gibbons Health Trust who have funded ACT’s Bits and Bites. We hope the food bank will help many young people who need it.

Hello from our new CEO Zoë Carassik-Lord

Posted on: May 8th, 2023 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

We are delighted to introduce Pie Factory Music’s new CEO Zoë Carassik-Lord.

Zoë brings a wide knowledge base and experience in the Youth Arts sector and has been part of the amazing team at Pie for the last 6 years, as Programme Manager for Music & Creative Arts. It’s an exciting time for Pie as we implement the next phase of our 2022-2025 Strategy Plan, with a particular focus on long-term premises and financial security. As we welcome Zoë, she would like to say a warm hello to our supporters and followers.

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

My first few weeks as CEO of Pie Factory Music have been a whirlwind of sessions, good funding news, and putting exciting plans in place for our young people and our team. All confirmation that I officially have the best job in the world leading a charity making a real difference to young people’s lives, and having fun whilst doing it.

I joined our Open Arms session with young refugees and asylum-seekers and we celebrated Eid together. It was so wonderful eating delicious Eritrean food cooked by the young people, and incredibly moving to see the young people listening with kindness to each other’s stories of making Thanet their home, and all that comes with the enormous upheaval of displacement due to war, poverty and civil unrest. It was truly inspiring, and I feel so proud that the Open Arms team have created such a safe, welcoming and special place for these young people.

I also sat down with Steph – our previous Managing Director – and some of our Emerging Artists to reflect on her time leading Pie, and to imagine what my time at the helm will incorporate. It feels like Steph has passed the baton, and it was brilliant to do this being interviewed by some of our longest-standing participants as part of a recording session for our Slice of Pie Podcast.

We received wonderful news from Barnardo’s that we have been successful in a funding bid to grow our pastoral care offer for young people in East Kent by offering more free counselling sessions with professional counsellors and psychotherapists, and funded one-to-ones with our talented Creative Practitioners and Youth Work team. I couldn’t be prouder to lean into my new role with a strong focus on care and support for our young people.

Our core team will soon be growing with two new positions to be filled – I’m so excited to welcome new people into the Pie team, to take our Music & Creative Arts programme and our organisation’s operations to their next level. We love to hear from people who want to contribute and advocate for our work; without their support and encouragement we wouldn’t be where we are today – looking at a bright future for Pie and the young people and team members who make us the family we are.

Thank you for all your support.

Discover more about our work and how you can support us.

Piece Of The Pie – Emily

Posted on: May 3rd, 2023 by pfm_master_us No Comments


“I first heard about Pie at age 13. I was a participant in the Art Beat Project at Turner Contemporary where organisations came together to inspire well-being for young people in the community. All summer we were working towards an exhibition at the Turner, called The Wellbeing Fest. This event had a lot of excitement about it and was even in the local paper.

Our time was split between the Turner, Pie and Tom Thumb Theatre where in each location we took part in several activities to help create and plan the exhibition, as well as understand well-being and mental health.

We came to Pie Factory Music for a week to make music (some of which were used as background music in the exhibition). We not only used instruments but also went down to the sea and recorded nature sounds to use as well. 

The staff at Pie helped me the most, they were so supportive and encouraging. When it came to picking my GCSEs they literally sat down with me and helped me make the decision (something they really didn’t have to do but it meant so much). They also talked me through some different careers that I could do within the arts but outside of the traditional artist and musician careers.

Pie also helped with my independence. I heard about the event (Art Beat) at school and I was determined to go. My parents were unable to take me so I would wake up extra early to take the bus down to that day’s location and take the bus back again. There was always food provided when I got there which was a godsend, to be honest. I was able to take part in so many activities that I otherwise would never have been able to do.

In my life after Pie, I am currently studying for my Masters in Media and Global Communication at City London University while working at Marks and Spencer as an Assistant Trader for the International Home team. I hope to go into Events planning for the charity sector, to create events like the Art Beat Project. Pie has helped me get to where I am because the staff helped me pick out my GCSEs, which in turn led to me studying art and fashion. 

For young people, my dream reflects upon the real world and events happening around us. The world is crazy at the moment with global pandemics, political and economic changes, it is honestly sad and quite worrying to see the pressures society puts on young people. I hope the next generation can have a better childhood with no worries or pressure, that they can dream big and be blissfully unaware. And be children! Sometimes our generation wants to grow up so fast but we really need to appreciate the moment we are currently in and enjoy what we have now.

Pie was the first step for me truly understanding myself, they offered me an amazing opportunity that summer to learn, create and get away from my day-to-day life. I will be forever grateful for that.

Announcing our new CEO

Posted on: April 17th, 2023 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Pie Factory Music is delighted to announce the appointment of Zoë Carassik-Lord as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Zoë’s appointment comes as the organisation implements the next phase of its 2022-2025 Strategy Plan, with a particular focus on long-term premises and financial security.

Zoë says:

“I’m so excited to take on the role of CEO at Pie Factory Music – an organisation and community I am deeply committed to and love working for. I’m honoured to have been chosen to lead Pie into its next phase of development, and I’m ready to get stuck in!”

Pie Factory Music Chair of Trustees Mike Fagg says:

“We are delighted to appoint Zoë into the CEO role. It’s an exciting time as we seek to diversify our income streams and continue to grow our service for the young people of Thanet, Dover and East Kent for at least another 20 years, growing on the past two decades of Pie’s history.

Zoë brings a wide knowledge base and experience in the Youth Arts sector, and having been part of the amazing team at Pie for the last 6 years, as Programme Manager for Music & Creative Arts, is excellently positioned to build on the solid foundations that have been created.

Zoë will be working with Steph throughout April and takes up her new role from 1st May 2023.”

Prior to her role as Programme Manager here at Pie, Zoë worked in London for several music education charities, including Spitalfields Music and Sound Connections, where she worked closely with participants, music educators and practitioners delivering projects with young people facing challenging life circumstances, including care-experienced and d/Deaf and disabled young people.

Over the last six years, Zoë has chaired the Kent Youth Arts Network, been a member of the Advisory Board at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre, and developed meaningful partnerships with cultural and youth organisations across Thanet, the South East, and nationally.