About Performing Room

Performing Room is a locally established 2007 Community Foundation Award Winning Community Group turned Charity with a successful 20 year history of volunteering, funding and delivering music-centred workshops, projects and events for up to 10,000 children, young people and adults living in Northamptonshire. 

An exciting activity-based Community Arts development programme acts as an important support network and social outlet for beneficiaries facing personal and social barriers to regularly meet up, make friends, build upon shared interests, develop key skills and forge important social links with an emphasis upon personal development and positive integration. 

Projects combine support work and life enrichment skills (eg. health/well being) using digital media (video and photography) and IT capital training equipment (computers) with one or more of the following music activities: Singing; Songwriting; Piano/Keyboard/Synth; Music Technology (Recording/Production/Engineering/Mixing); Radio broadcasting; DJing (Vinyl/digital/CD); Percussion (acoustic/electric); Guitar (acoustic/electric/bass). Other activities available upon request. 

Delivery is dynamic and accessible and offers a great deal of flexibility, creativity, accessibility, specialist skills and fun, with real contributions to key performance targets, a positively charged environment and a real sense of achievement. Helping beneficiaries develop an attitude to become innovative, confident, independent and resourceful plays an integral part in all Performing Room projects. At its heart is a sense of the role each play in life as a family member, a friend, a neighbour, an employee/employer, and member of the community.

Our Impact - The Difference We Make

Project activities empower beneficiaries with increased confidence and improved skills to maximize potential for new opportunities and exciting relationships to occur to tackle issues that come with problems associated with social isolation, exclusion, discrimination, low skill levels and low self esteem. Growing numbers who historically struggle to build confidence and express themselves positively report playing a much more active role in the local community as a direct result of taking part in the group’s open access music inclusion mentoring projects that currently take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2-8pm. They report feeling less lonely and isolated and more connected to the local neighbourhood with an improved sense of belonging and over-all well being. They feel more positive about their increased skills e.g. teamwork, communication, decision making and socio-emotional capabilities, and more confident it will help them shape their futures in a positive way. Now the group is established we expect to see increasing numbers regularly come together and develop increased skills leading to an increasingly active and popular community space.

Who We Work With

Performing Room continues to forge a number of new links with leaving care agencies e.g. RespondCare and local care homes e.g. AspireCare. Other partnership work is set to start with new charities and continue with local charities e.g. Hope Centre, NAYC; Rockin’ RoadRunner including taking full control of the stage for 5 hours for beneficiaries with disabilities to perform at the annual Rockin’ RoadRunner festival at Abington Park on Sunday 16th Sept. Programme links continue to run weekly with hospitals e.g. St Andrew’s, Berrywood; St Matthew’s; Broomhill. New programme links includes partnership work with specialist schools e.g. Cambian and with the Community safety and engagement team led by Northampton Borough Council.

Project Management

The current day to day running of Performing Room is managed by the Coordinator and overseen by the Management Committee comprising of 9 executive members and 3 senior members including a chairperson, treasurer and secretary. All projects are delivered by a Senior Music Leader with a degree in Psychology and Music Leadership in the Community from Northampton Uni and an NVQ level 3 in Youth Work, and managed by an award winning project coordinator with a history of managing four former specialist community music and arts learning centres over a 15 year period the first being at Roadmender venue of Arts in 2003. Each have extensive experience of coordinating and delivering music workshop projects and events for up to 10,000 people living in Northamptonshire over a combined 36 year period. They are supported by a team of part-time music leaders with up to 50 volunteers (25 regular) made up of local people, skilled musicians, youth/support/social and past project participants turned practitioners with a history of teaching, mentoring, support work, practising and performing.

Project Sustainability

Valuable knowledge added to the current operational and mentoring models provides the group with the evidence it needs to increase its chance of raising future funds from other sources eg. associated Lottery grants and other relevant grants. Income generating sources include the launch of a new and exciting Coworking social enterprise that aims to hire out modern day multimedia workspace to growing numbers of independent workers, creative start-ups and micro businesses. A long standing fundraising campaign scheduled to be launched by the end of this year includes a group music video and a 10-15 minute video documentary with interviews and accounts from project beneficiaries. Other income generating sources include a new and exciting 'music activity day' aimed at corporate team building, children’s parties and provision of a “Time-out zone” for local people with disabilities and learning difficulties, family members, staff and carers to take part in local activities and leisurely escape the everyday challenges and pressures they face. We expect our network to extend deeper into the heart of the local community and economy to include an increase in paid project work from agencies, educators, charities, hospitals and care homes. We have also contacted the councils planning department and asked to be added to the list of section 106 nominees on the basis of contribution to combat deprivation and social disharmony in the local area.

About Our Premises

Performing Room has approached the end of a 9 year building project to convert a derelict community centre based in the Castle area of Northampton into a thriving modern day community creative hub ideal for teaching, learning, working, playing and performing. Our hub is 4,000 sq ft in size and sits directly in between two major developments: the former Chronicle & Echo building and the Hawkins Shoe factory that form part of the newly announced Northampton Enterprise Zone. It includes a large 1st floor performance area with dedicated workstations, gallery, stage and sound-booth plus a ground floor area consisting of a soundproof music recording studio with a DJ Room; Vocal booth and Control Room. Other rooms include 3 x Music/Video Production Rooms; 2 x Music Project Rooms and a Community IT Training Suite/Meeting Area/Conference Room. Rooms were designed and constructed with 19 years experience of community music workshop delivery and 15 years of community studio management. Help came from local tradesmen including a young carpenter who took part in a number of performing room projects and events over a 10 year period. Additional help came from project beneficiaries, local residents, volunteers, committee members, friends/family, local business.