SoCo provides weekly jamming sessions for Society of St James’ Pathfinder Recovery Group, a group that supports adults with alcohol and substance misuse issues, which form a key component of many service users’ recovery programme. Having developed several music-making courses over a number of years in partnership with Society of St James, this current offer supports a core group of aspiring musicians to hone their musical skills by learning and performing cover songs and composing their own material.

The project has been running for over a year and a half in its current format and has seen participants’ confidence grow significantly. So much so, that the group now performs at public events, such as Umbrella Arts Festival and The Big Sleep Out, under the name of Recovery All-Stars.

Our work in this field contributes to a wider adult learning programme, read more about this project and others in our Adult Learning Report.

Keeping busy is important for me. Any hours in the day spent not knowing what to do are dangerous hours. It’s just a really good way of using my time

Participant

I suppose what I’ve got out of it is the confidence to actually start to be and actually believe I can write songs and sing. That’s progress for me. I jumped on the stage for the first time ever when I came to the first session here. It’s just brilliant really; I wish it was every other day to be fair. It would really benefit us.”

Participant

For me when I was growing up I knew I could write lyrics but there was nothing for me in Southampton. If there was more stuff like this for adults… we need stuff too because we’re all creative. We never stop being creative. It would be great for something to grow from this. To actually give adults the opportunity to do something with their lives with regards to music. For me I didn’t know that. Because of my lifestyle and everything that was going I didn’t have the opportunity to ever think about music. But now I have it would be great for something else to come. To spend our time creating music. Or learn how to get into music or learn how to give something back to the community

Participant

It’s been incredibly moving. I just didn’t think I could do it. Coming here and seeing that I can it’s just like an eye opener for me.

Participant

Music has made me find myself again and I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s my inspiration

Participant

Music puts me in my own zone – I can forget about everything else that’s going on. It keeps me safe and out of trouble

Participant

Music has helped me so much in my recovery and I now feel like I have something to get up for and a life to live

Participant

Life was dull taking my pills every day staring into a bottle of cider what
was left. Music has helped me so much; my drinking is at a healthier level. I can exist in the community now and I can enjoy music and now play a little bit

Participant

SoCo Music Project have given the clients another tool in their life skills. Clients’ self esteem and motivation has risen and many now have bought an instrument and feel they have found a purpose in life other than the substance misuse they relied on. The courses have created a new social network of friends. This service has been excellent and I have seen many good changes in clients for the better.

Jacqui WhiteSupport Worker, Society of St James

The group has supported me in a way that people could not imagine. My love for music takes everything away for that moment and it has helped with my confidence, musical ability and with social interactions.

Participant

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