Busking at Sainsbury’s

On the 5th of September we did a busking session in the foyer at our local Sainsbury’s Supermarket. Unfortunately, not many band members were able to attend for various reasons. But as established musicians, we were still able to put on an impressive performance. We left the centre at about 1.30pm and arrived at our destination just before 2pm. We began soon afterwards. This was the first time we had appeared in public without the expert guidance of the Lonnigan’s etc., and were a bit slow to begin with, but soon found ourselves performing well. The applause we received from the public and staff gave us great confidence. As we were low on vocalists, a number of Sainsbury’s staff came out and joined us, they were great. While we were performing one of our songs, we noticed an elderly gentleman have a little dance as he came out of the shop, this added to the atmosphere. After about an hour, we had a short break, tucking into some chocolate cakes, then resumed performing until about 3.30pm. In view of the lack of band members, and playing on our own in an environment we are not used to, we did very well. This was reflected in the congratulations we received from the staff....

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Direct Line – Bromley

This was our second official Skiffle event, and was to begin quite late at 5pm, although due to a few little problems, began at 5.20. We arrived at about 3pm, setup our equipment, had a short practice session and sound check. With everything being in order, some of us went out for a quick cigarette break before we were due to begin. The schedule for this evening was to be the same as in the first event.  Our audience wasn’t as big as we hoped for, and at first, it appeared they may not be too receptive to our message – but the magic of Skiffle won them over and they soon joined in using the instruments placed on their tables earlier. Overall, the evening went very well. The video by Ruby Wax and talk by Chis Morgan was well received. The operation of the four groups went very smoothly, there was some concerns raised by one of the Ambassadors after one conversation. This was relayed to a senior member of our team.  As well as fighting Stigma, the purpose of these events is to identify any problems experienced by individuals or anyone they know, and give help and advice. When the Zone period was over, the Skiffle Express performed their last two songs. Kirsten was asked before the evening began, to do a little dance, she was soon joined by a member of the audience. This was one of a number of signs that this evening was another success. The Event drew to a close at about 7pm. By the time we had cleared up and arrived back at the centre, it was 8pm. We had a long day and were tired, but that did not detract from our feelings of a job well done. Project Lead, Lucy Adams commented: “I’m very proud of our team of Ambassadors and want to thank them for the fantastic job they are doing at our events.  It’s not easy to sit down with a complete stranger but they embrace this as they have done the whole project.  We genuinely all feel with this project that we are helping people and making a difference”...

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Time to Change Awayday at St Julien’s, Sevenoaks

The Skiffle Express was requested by the Time to Change management team to do an interactive event for them to finish off their Away Day at the St Julian’s Club on Tuesday 24 June. Which we were only too pleased to do. The Skiffle Express members arrived at the Sevenoaks Area Mind building at 10am to run through the agenda for today. Everyone was suffering as the weather was so hot and humid, but things must go on, all equipment was set up and the rehearsal began. When we had finished at about 12 noon, we had refreshments, cleared away our instruments and headed to St Julian’s, where we were due at 1pm. We were due to set up our instruments (again), but there was a delay so we sat outside for a while – resisting the temptation to jump into the swimming pool to cool off. After a while we were given the go ahead to set up and begin the event. After short introduction speeches from Lucy, Jill, Libby and Eddie Armer, we performed our first song, Mamma Don’t. Afterwards, the audience were split into two groups, one group was sent into another room, some of them looked a little apprehensive as to what was going to happen. One group was over seen by Eddie, the other by Mick and John. Each group were to have a go at playing Skiffle instruments, and asked to give themselves a name. Each group practised playing Worried Man Blues for about 30 minutes before being brought back together into the main room. We had a refreshment break, followed by a 10 question quiz on the subject of Skiffle. This was followed by a ‘play off’ between the two groups while Jill, Libby and Lucy check the answers to the questionnaire. Then the Skiffle Express played two more songs. Everyone seemed to enjoy this, some got up and danced (this has happened at all the events we have done so far, so we must be doing something right). It was now time for the judges (Jill, Libby and Lucy) to announce the winners of the questionnaire, and a small trophy was given to the winners. The Skiffle Express performed their last song, Time to Talk. A member of the Time to Change group stood up and thanked us for an enjoyable time, and wished us well for what we will be doing this year. We cleared away our instruments and made our way back to Sevenoaks Area...

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Circle Housing 20/06/2014

This was our first official Skiffle for Change event, as usual we were a little nervous, but the atmosphere here was good and we were soon at our ease. The building was new, the facilities we had were very bright and spacious. We arrived at 12 noon and set up our equipment followed by a sound check. We finished this at about 1.30pm then had a break, the event was due to begin at 2pm so we didn’t have long to go. Someone from BBC South East TV was there to film us, so we had to be ready to give a good performance. This event was well attended, which was good. After the introduction from Hattie, The Skiffle Express performed their first song ‘Mama Don’t Allow’ which went down very well with the audience. This was followed by a brief address by Jill Roberts (our C.E.O.), then a very good film by Ruby wax. The Skiffle Express performed another song ‘Freight Train’ which again the audience seemed to enjoy, they were encouraged by Eddie to use the instruments given to them when they arrived, and they played along with us – nothing better than audience participation. Chris Morgan gave a short talk on Mental Health awareness, which was very interesting and informative. There were four zones set out in the room, and were colour coded. These were as follows:- Talk Zone: Co-ordinated by Ruth and Annabel. Skiffle Interaction Zone: Co-ordinated by Eddie, John and Mick. Mind Zone: Chris and Jenny. Tea and Cake Zone: Co-ordinated by Amy and Laurence. As everyone attending the event arrived, they were given a coloured wrist band according to the zone they were to attend first, they were to spend a certain amount of time in each zone, then guided to the next zone at a signal given by a horn. The intention of these zones was to organise everyone, and give them a chance to experience different aspects of the Skiffle for Change campaign and to receive free refreshments. The Talk zone did very well, the Ambassadors conducted conversations about Mental Health Awareness with approximately 68 people (this is towards our goal of 1000 conversations by the end of this year). When the ‘Zone’ time had finished and everyone had returned to their seats, the Skiffle Express performed two more of their songs,  a number of people got up and danced, and some joined the band with washboards and tea chest bass, they were keen to join in the fun. After Hattie gave her closing speech, The Skiffle Express finished things off with ‘I’m a Believer’ and ‘Time to Talk’, which everyone enjoyed. Everyone seemed to enjoy the afternoon, and they gave us good feedback. This being our first event, we now have a lot of encouragement for the next stages of the Skiffle for Change campaign. Below are some images from the day Welcome Guitars Setting up Sign in Ambassadors Cakes The...

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Skiffle for Change video

We are really excited to be able to release our What is ‘Skiffle for Change’ video. The video is designed to give people who are interested in our project a brief idea of what one of our events are all about and just how enjoyable and informative they are! The video was created during our pilot event in Sevenoaks and features both project members and attendees talking about the aims of the project and what they gained from the event. The video is available via our YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/skiffleforchange or via the direct link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFg4JxjzRkA or you can watch the video below We would really like to know what you think of the video and if it makes you want to get...

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Music Sessions

Something every band needs to do, is rehearse, and the Skiffle Express are no different. We have a music session every Friday afternoon, every other week we are joined by The Lonnigans and we rehearse the songs for our performances and work on new songs. When The Lonnigans aren’t with us the rehearsals are more informal and we tend to play a mixture of songs suggested by members of the group. The sessions are great fun, even when we are working hard preparing for a performance! Although we are a Skiffle band we play a mixture of musical styles. For instance a couple of recent songs have been Stand by Me and Teenage Kicks. As the pictures show our rehearsal space at Sevenoaks Mind can get rather full, this can be difficult at times but is a great advert for the popularity of the music sessions. The music sessions are open to anyone, with or without a current mental health issue, and regardless of musical experience. It would be great to see you at our next session! If you would like to come along please contact Sevenoaks Area Mind on: 01732 744950 or via www.sevenaoksareamind.org.uk    ...

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