Sarah Waine, she would talk all the time and she convinced me to do The Ultimate Chill at Fat Sams. It was a Wednesday. Me and Andy Dowson. After that I was asked to come to make a record for The Ultimate Chill CD. And then every so often I would get a call asking if I wanted to do this or that what often appeared like random projects. So, I kept getting involved. Then I went to university.
The penny dropped when I realised I had an interest in community music.
There were lots of talented people around who didn’t have the opportunity to access these opportunities. I remember sharing this with Front Lounge and in return I was asked to work on iGNiTE one summer. Then I came and worked the summer of 2008. As the summer drew to a close, I was offered a job and decided to stay in Dundee. Every day was different. it was an opportunity to work with people, and I just felt a pull towards it. Eventually I became Creative Director.
It was about building a core team and looking after the day to day running and bringing in and supporting the volunteers. There have been so many high points. iGNiTE China 2008 & 2010; Urban Chillax; the ‘These Are Our Bairns’ conference in Perth; training in Gulabin…
The work of Front Lounge helps anyone realise that they have potential through by getting to know them and building relationships, helping them realise their potential in the real world. This work has always been important. And we work with people who usually get left behind. Mainstream education is not for everyone, and folk often feel under pressure to settle for something, anything. Front Lounge’s message is: this doesn’t have to be the case; don’t settle for something less, and certainly don’t settle for something that you do not want or need.
I am still involved and I really care about the organisation. I am loyal and I really care and I don’t want to disappear. I still believe in the work, and it really does work, and I want to support that.
So now I live in London, this is something I have always wanted to do. I have ended up in a job and all my experiences have enabled me to get that job despite not being qualified. It echoes a lot of what we do at Front Lounge, learning through play, learning through fun. Working with children, if you start early, we can make a big difference. My job is constant problem solving – which is very similar to my time with Front Lounge.