A GROUP using rap, hip-hop, art and sports to work with young people from diverse backgrounds has received a financial boost. . . of the police.
Heavy Sound works with young people who face barriers to learning and inclusion, as well as those who have experienced trauma, across East Lothian.
Projects include songwriting, music production, art therapy, and fitness, including mixed martial arts.
The Cockenzie Business Hub-based group recently received a donation of £ 1,450 from the East Lothian Police Community Fund.
Jordan Butler, CEO of Heavy Sound, was delighted with the increased funding.
He told the Courier: “The police are aware of the work we are doing and we have a very good relationship with them.
“In terms of investing in cash, that’s a big recognition. The more complex part is that it is an investment in our young people.
“Many of the young people we work with have had interactions and experiences with the police.
“It helps them see their role in communities and support organizations like ours in a new light.
“They will directly benefit from the money given to us.”
Young people will now have the opportunity to decide what the four-figure sum will be used for, with the money being reinvested in the organization, which was previously based in Tranent.
Thanks to Heavy Sound, young people learn new skills, boosting their self-esteem and well-being in a safe and pleasant environment.
Mr Butler explained how the group has been busy for much of the lockdown period over the past 12 months.
He said: “We have been operational the whole time.
“We have been working face-to-face since May and at the moment we are working with 42 young people per week.
Community agents Fiona Cunningham and Dougie Smith recently stopped by to donate.
This came after the group’s work was recognized by local commander Chief Inspector Neil Mitchell.
He said: “Every year in East Lothian we have a sum of money called our community fund, which is donated to support projects across the county that address issues identified as priorities in our local policing plan.
“We have made donations to many charities, communities, youth groups and volunteers, including this donation to Heavy Sound.
“My local community workers work with these groups day in and day out and see the huge difference they make in the lives of those who use them.
“It is the agents themselves who ask for money from the fund to support the groups.
“Heavy Sound is a fantastic example of how community groups can engage with young people through music and help them on successful paths.
“We also supported a community kitchen, the Volunteer Center East Lothian (VCEL), purchased gear reduction items for a local elementary school, and donated money to the Pennypit Center in Prestonpans to fund additional staff during the holidays. Easter and summer.
“These projects and the many others we have funded all work closely with community policing officers and bring real benefits to everyone. ”