Lewisham Music on track to create positive change in young people’s lives through a significant five-year funding partnership with Merchant Taylors’ Foundation.



Award-winning youth charity Lewisham Music is proud to announce a new five-year funding partnership with Merchant Taylors’ Foundation that will improve equitable access to grassroots music education and build pathways to employment within the creative industries.


A young black saxophone player.


“We are delighted to be working on this significant partnership with Merchant Taylors’ Foundation and are very grateful for their support.”


“This exciting programme has been developed carefully over the last two years to strategically address some of the challenges young people in Lewisham face when starting on their musical journeys, right through to when they may be looking for a career in the music and creative industries. It will allow us to reach more young people in a more targeted way, and I can’t wait to see the impact it will have.”


Charly Richardson, CEO, Lewisham Music





The new partnership with Merchant Taylors’ Foundation will allow Lewisham Music to build on their proven track record, elevating young people’s aspirations, celebrating creativity, and providing routes into work. With the support of Merchant Taylors’ Foundation, they will provide access to industry standard professional musicians, spaces, and equipment, and deliver an inclusive and high-quality programme that combines three interconnected strands..


Community Bursaries


Music tuition, projects, events, advice, and mentoring to support equitable access for all.



A young black singer sings on stage holding a microphone surrounded by purple lighting.


Creative Futures Lewisham

Three young producers stand around a computer in the music studio.

Supporting underrepresented groups into employment within the creative industries.



Community Development


Funding a key position to support families and young people across our community, connecting the programme strands to maximise impact with new activities, projects and courses reaching an increasingly diverse audience.



A close-up photo of a young violinist in a white t-shirt.


The approach behind these three strands is built around several years of organisational learning and development, and has been informed by local young people. Through Lewisham Music’s partnership work with social services, youth services and the wider voluntary sector they have a deep understanding of the complex and often multiple challenges facing children, young people and families living in our borough, and these three key strands will help improve access to opportunities in Lewisham and beyond.


“Young people are at the centre of the Merchant Taylors’ Foundation vision and we’re delighted to be working with Lewisham Music on this exciting new collaboration. Lewisham Music’s innovative approach will provide skills, training, and pathways to work in the creative industries, with highly transferable skills for many other lines of work.”


“Our Foundation’s strategy is to improve young lives by focussing on building skills and knowledge and we are excited to see what we can achieve together with Lewisham Music for the young people in Lewisham and beyond.”


Giles Hutchinson, Head of Philanthropy, Merchant Taylors’ Foundation




Close up photo of a young singer in a black top holding a microphone.

Lewisham Music’s ambitious plans are already well underway, recently welcoming Tilda Landehag to the team as Creative Careers Producer. Tilda comes with years of experience within the youth, charity, and creative sector, and will play a key role in the Creative Futures Lewisham programme, ensuring young people find the right creative opportunities for them.


The first Creative Futures course, Audio Production for Film and TV has just wrapped up. Over 5 weeks we were joined by industry pros Plus TRBE who expertly guided 15 participants throughout the world of sync and library music, exploring where beats meet the big screen, working on real-life briefs, soaking up insider tips, and enjoying one-to-one mentoring. Check out some highlights below.




“We want to show people what’s available out there, and to help them navigate paths into the creative industry. I remember how challenging it was for me and I’m hoping that we will be able to help and guide people on their journey.”


Tilda Landehag, Creative Careers Producer, Lewisham Music



Over the next five years, this ground-breaking initiative will allow Lewisham Music to reach and improve the lives of hundreds of young people in Lewisham and further develop meaningful relationships with the Lewisham community, and the education, voluntary and employment sectors.



Notes to editors


For enquiries about Lewisham Music please contact Robbie Hurst, Marketing and Communications Manager

Email: robbie.hurst@lewishammusic.org


Photos and alternative Press Release formats are available via the link below.


Photos and alternative formats



About Lewisham Music

Lewisham Music is an award-winning youth charity that creates positive change in young people’s lives, empowering them to fulfil their potential, and building happy and healthy communities through music. Last year we delivered a diverse range of musical activity to over 6700 children and young people across 76 Lewisham schools, community settings and from The Fellowship, our state-of-the-art community music venue situated in the heart of the Bellingham Estate, SE6.


Working with industry professional musicians, practitioners and artists, our creative learning programmes offer everyone the opportunity to progress their passion for music and develop their skills and self-confidence – from tuition and groups for young people in schools, to programmes for aspiring young creatives.

Three young people sit around a keyboard with the young person in the middle wearing green headphones.


Lewisham Music has close links and support from local Lewisham artists, including Ray BLK (R&B singer-songwriter), Theon Cross (jazz Tuba sensation), and Novelist (grime MC and producer).


Social mobility is at the heart of our work. We have developed an extensive network of partnerships across education, statutory services, and the voluntary sector to ensure we support children and young people that face significant barriers to participation, learning and progression. We are earning a national reputation for our work to develop communities, tackle social disadvantage and improve life chances through the power of music. Our programmes are co-designed with young people to ensure they are reflective of our communities, and youth voice is central to our practice.


Close up photo of a young guitarist in a grey top playing and singing into a mic surround3ed by vivid blue and purple lighting.

Lewisham Music strongly believe that musical and creative opportunities should be accessible to everyone, and work hard to make this possible. But with limited core funding and complex challenges facing too many young people (for example, 6.2 % of 16–17 year-olds in Lewisham are not in education, employment, or training), this partnership will really help us to push this mission to the next level.




Lewisham Music’s awards

Lewisham Music won the ‘The Try Something New Award’ at the London Youth Awards 2022 for Sonic Minds, their two-year creative music project working with care experienced and displaced young people allowing them to share their stories, celebrate their identity and express themselves through music.


Lewisham Music won the ‘Youth Initiative of the Year Award’ at the Music Mark Awards 2023 for their youth-led podcast series, Front Line Young Minds which explores the connection between music and young people’s mental health.


A young rapper reading lyrics of his phone raps into a mic in the sound soundbooth.


About Merchant Taylors’ Foundation

Merchant Taylors’ Foundation is a registered charity and a charitable arm of the Merchant Taylors’ Company, a City of London livery company which is a flourishing community of around 1,000 members dedicated to fraternity, philanthropy, and education.


Lewisham Music is in good company with Merchant Taylors’ Foundation supporting four other proactive relationships with charities in Lewisham and Southwark, all working to improve lives in London – Construction Youth Trust, Depaul UK, One Southwark, and Resources for Autism.


Merchant Taylors' Foundation website