West End music project helping beat isolation and loneliness

Melting Pot live.
Melting Pot live.
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A community project is stirring up interest in music in the West End of Morecambe and helping to improve people’s confidence at the same time.

The Melting Pot has gone from strength to strength since it was founded by Tom Marshall with music sessions at Stanley’s Community Centre in Heysham.

The Melting Pot stage being used at an event in Regent's Park last summer.

The Melting Pot stage being used at an event in Regent's Park last summer.

“The project aims to engage people, build confidence and encourage self-help whilst promoting the ideas of building a mutual support network,” said Tom.

Using music as a way of building self-confidence, the project tackles issues around isolation and loneliness but welcomes anyone interested in playing or listening to music or who may want to learn more about stage management, music production and technical skills.

Since last year, weekly drop-in sessions have been organised, a community stage has been developed and regular gigs are taking place at Regent’s Park pavilion on West End Road.

The project was initially supported by Unltd who back individuals aiming to create a social enterprise. It has also received funding from West End Million who provide grants to improve the lives of people in this area of Morecambe – with Melting Pot musicians playing at their open evening.

It is planned that the Melting Pot will become a Community Interest Company this year and eventually have their own base.

“People don’t realise just how much musical talent there is in the West End and even if people aren’t musicians, they can come along to the Melting Pot and feel included and meet people with similar interests,” said Chris Hargreaves, administrator of the project.

Drop-in sessions, for anyone aged 18 plus, are held on Wednesdays from 2-4pm at the Writing Room in West Street.

The Melting Pot stage made its debut at the West End Festival last summer and can be offered as a community resource for festivals, presentations, business events and parties.

Tom has also offered to build bespoke stages or platforms for individuals, organisations or businesses.

The Melting Pot’s own stage will be in use again at their next event night at Regent’s Park on January 19 from 7-10pm. Among the line-up of acts will be the West Street Exchange Rattlers who include Tom and Chris. Anyone interested can email musicmeltingpot@hotmail.com.