SoundCafe is a Leicester based non-profit organisation founded in 2014. They run weekly workshops on Wednesday afternoons and offer a safe creative space for people suffering in poverty who may be homeless, isolated and vulnerable.
Their main aims are to:
- Create a safe space for people to explore their creativity.
- Provide a sense of belonging.
- Help people to find and have their voices heard.
- To build and sustain good relationships.
I am a second year creative writing student at DMU and as part of a placement for one of my modules, I have been attending arts events around the city over the past few months. One of the most memorable events I attended was SoundCafe on 22nd January.
Upon arriving I naturally gravitated towards the poetry table (there were several different tables set up, each for different activities such as poetry, arts and crafts, music etc.). One thing that struck me immediately was the sense of community and friendship between the visitors, most of whom I had never met before. Every few minutes someone would approach me and introduce themselves and ask me about myself in a way that felt so genuine like they really cared about what I had to say.
SoundCafe is set up for people who are vulnerable and in need but these people seemed in such high spirits and were so happy to be there, it was really lovely to see. Throughout the duration of the session, guests were invited to come up to the front and perform, whether it was a song on karaoke, a piece of music or a poem; they all had such enthusiasm it was infectious.
Attending the session was quite a moving experience and I was able to see just how much these workshops meant to people. You could feel the hurt and pain in some of the guests and it was clear that art, particularly writing, drawing and singing, can be a much-needed emotional outlet for people who are struggling. SoundCafe is doing some very important work in our community and I want to thank them for making me feel so welcome!
About the reviewer
Amber Culbert is a second year creative writing student at De Montfort University. She enjoys writing poetry and short fiction and has always loved reading, especially work by Stephen King and Kate Tempest. She is passionate about helping others and encouraging other emerging writers to share their work.