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Ilford church battling barriers with music studio for youngsters

PUBLISHED: 14:36 29 March 2016 | UPDATED: 14:36 29 March 2016

Singers perform at Liberty Christian Connections, Clarks Road, Ilford. Picture: Liberty Christian Connections

Singers perform at Liberty Christian Connections, Clarks Road, Ilford. Picture: Liberty Christian Connections

Archant

A church is due to open a music studio to deter young people from joining gangs.

Pianist and drummer Lanre Adefishan, 35, of Liberty Christian Connections, Clarks Road, Ilford, is leading a pilot project at the church to provide a space for youngsters to be creative.

The church is hoping the studio, which will open to the public in May, will become a “hub for budding musicians”.

“It will be a studio where anyone can come and make good music in a good atmosphere – there’s no restrictions as to who can use it,” said Lanre, who himself found music at church as a child.

“There’s a lot of young people coming out of school that are falling into all kinds of vices. I thought we could create a place where young people can come to learn a skill or develop their talents.”

The musician, from Lewisham, said he found “a sense of community” within the church as young man growing up, but was concerned about youngsters getting involved in gangs because of “societal expectations”.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind,” he said.

“You look back and you think ‘what if people are making the same mistakes I have made?’ At least we should try and help them in their journeys.

“It comes down to many factors – it’s societal expectations and the things they see around them, it could be economic, it could be emotional, they could be from a challenging background and they’re not getting the support.”

Lanre is hoping users of the studio will go on to become volunteers and pass on their skills to new users.

He said: “If you can find support in a church setting that’s great, but some people find it in a gang because there’s a lot of expectations of what a young person should be.

“A lot of times I needed guidance, but I was lucky because I had the structure of the church around me. It helped me but that’s not the experience for everyone.”

He added: “Music is very important in the church, it transcends even language and race and can bring down barriers.”

To find out more visit libertyconnections.org


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