The newly relaunched music room at The Christie Hospital in Manchester is a haven of creativity and healing for young cancer patients aged 16 to 24.
This refurbished space, funded by The Christie Charity, is now equipped with an impressive collection of musical instruments, including electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, and more.
It also features state-of-the-art recording equipment and mixing desks, offering patients a space for artistic expression and connection during their treatment journey.
What sets this music room apart is its inclusivity; no musical expertise is required, and it encourages patients, along with their family members and caregivers, to explore their creativity and find solace through music.
Renewed Inspiration on October 13th
On Friday, October 13th, The Christie Hospital marked the relaunch of The Christie music room, featuring Sacha Lord, the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester and co-founder of The Warehouse Project and Parklife Festival, as a special guest.
The event also saw the presence of DJs Rudosa and Sean Slkta, adding a dynamic atmosphere to the reopening celebration.
Honouring a Young Inspiration
The music room originally opened its doors in 2014, inspired by a remarkable fundraiser, Tom Buckley, a young Christie patient who faced an inoperable brain tumour.
Despite being given only months to live in September 2008, Tom’s fundraising efforts amassed an astonishing £100K to support other patients at The Christie Hospital.
While Tom sadly passed away in May 2009, his legacy lives on through the music room as part of the TYA service at The Christie
Empowering Young Cancer Warriors
The TYA service is unwavering in its commitment to providing comprehensive support for young individuals navigating the complexities of a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks to the generous funding from The Christie Charity, the music room has undergone a substantial £8K refurbishment, now offering an impressive array of electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, and various other musical instruments.
The space also features state-of-the-art mixing desks and recording equipment, creating a welcoming and creative environment for patients throughout their treatment journey.
A Multifaceted Haven for Healing
Situated within The Palatine Treatment Centre at the hospital, the music room is complemented by two social hubs, each catering specifically to TYA patients and their loved ones.
The first-floor social area includes a TV lounge, a fully equipped kitchen, an activity table, and a vending machine.
On the second floor, an entertainment paradise awaits, featuring a pool table, a football table, a jukebox, a computer hub, and a relaxation area, accompanied by an extensive collection of DVDs and PlayStation and Xbox games.
Patients are actively encouraged to utilise these social hubs during inpatient stays or while receiving treatment in the day unit.
In addition to these amenities, the music room stands as a refuge for artistic expression and connection.
Patients can access the room and its instruments at any time, with music sessions held twice a week in the music room or social hub.
Inclusivity and Creativity Unleashed
The music room’s true charm lies in its inclusivity.
No musical expertise is required, and everyone is welcome to explore their creativity and connect through music.
Family members, friends, and caregivers are actively encouraged to participate in these sessions, fostering a sense of togetherness and shared healing experiences.
These sessions encompass a wide range of activities, from playing and learning different instruments to writing and recording songs, rehearsing, performing, jamming, and large group instrumental sessions.
Mark Bradbury aka Rudosa, a renowned DJ and producer, leads some of the sessions. Mark is also the owner and director of Make Me a DJ, the Manchester-based production and DJ teaching facility, and has been putting together tutorials for the young people using the music room facilities. Mark has compiled over 4,000 pieces of music from different genres which the young people can access.
“Make Me A DJ have been honoured to be asked to help build and create the new music room at The Christie,” he said.
“We believe in the power of music and the new space will provide a cool and relaxed environment for people who are having treatment to have some time away to enjoy the facilities.
“Whether it’s compiling a mix with their favourite tunes or sitting down to create beats in the state-of-the-art production suite, we believe we have taken the space into the modern era where there is something for everyone.”
A Creative Oasis
Hanna Simpson, Teenage Cancer Trust Lead Nurse at The Christie, expressed their delight at offering this creative space to young patients, thanking The Christie Charity for their continuous support that has made a significant difference to all who’ve used the music room facilities.
She said: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this creative space to our young patients here, and we’re very grateful to The Christie Charity whose support for the past nine years and ongoing funding has made a huge difference to everyone who has used the music room facilities.”
Young Voices Influencing Positive Change
The TYA boasts a patient participation group, The Christie Young Voices Network, which plays a pivotal role in shaping TYA services, including the music room’s design.
A spokesperson for The Young Voices Network praised the music room as an exceptional escape for creativity, a space where melodies become medicine.
A Commitment to Young Patients
Louise Stimson from The Christie Charity reaffirmed their commitment to offering continued support and funding to The Christie’s Teenage and Young Adult service.
She expressed her delight at relaunching the music room, emphasising that it offers solace, creativity, and a sense of community to young patients.
Community Support and Generosity
Sacha Lord, from The Warehouse Project, praised the healing power of music and expressed his delight at launching the music room, alongside his colleagues from The Warehouse Project.
He also acknowledged the generous donation of music equipment to the room and thanked DJ Sean Slkta for his support.
The Warehouse Project has further contributed by donating £1,480 from the guest list proceeds, and they are ordering an additional £800 worth of music items to enhance the music room’s collection.
Supporting a Worthy Cause
To support The Christie Charity’s work, please visit their website (christie.nhs.uk) or call 0161 446 3988.
The charity provides enhanced services above and beyond what the NHS funds, including care and treatment, research, education, and additional patient services.
Public donations play a vital role in enhancing the care and treatment provided to patients and their families.