Press release posted 25 October 2023

The Christie Charity is proud to announce the official relaunch and refurbishment of The Christie music room, a space within the bespoke Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) unit at The Christie hospital, dedicated to supporting young people aged 16 to 24 who are facing the challenges of cancer and related illnesses.

The relaunch of The Christie music room took place on Friday 13 October 2023 with special guest Sacha Lord, the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester and co-founder of The Warehouse Project and Parklife festival. Plus, DJs Rudosa and Sean Slkta were also in attendance and brought a wonderful atmosphere to the reopening event.

The music room was originally opened in 2014, on the back of an inspirational fundraiser for The Christie Charity, Tom Buckley. Tom was a young Christie patient who had an inoperable brain tumour and was given months to live in September 2008 but managed to raise an incredible £100,000 to help other patients at The Christie hospital. Tom sadly passed away in May 2009 but has left a legacy with the music room as part of the TYA service at The Christie.

The TYA service is committed to providing support to young individuals navigating the complexities of a cancer diagnosis. The music room, funded by The Christie Charity, has undergone a comprehensive refurbishment, costing £8,000 and now boasts an impressive collection of electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, and other musical instruments. It includes the addition of mixing desks and recording equipment, ensuring a creative and comfortable environment for patients and offers a refuge for them during their treatment journey.

The Palatine Treatment Centre at the hospital, where the music room is situated, offers two vibrant social hubs tailored specifically for TYA patients and their loved ones. On the 1st floor, a spacious social area features a TV lounge, a fully equipped kitchen, an activity table, and a vending machine. The 2nd floor presents a haven of entertainment with a pool table, a football table, a jukebox, a computer hub, and a relaxation area, accompanied by an extensive collection of DVDs and PlayStation and Xbox games.

Patients are encouraged to utilise these social hubs, both during inpatient stays and while receiving treatment on the day unit. In addition to these amenities, the music room provides a haven for artistic expression and connection. Patients can access the room and its instruments at any time, with music sessions held twice a week, either within the music room itself or in the social hub.

What makes the music room truly special is its inclusivity. No musical expertise is required; everyone is welcome to explore their creativity and connect through music. Family members, friends, and caregivers are actively encouraged to participate in these sessions, fostering a sense of togetherness and shared healing experiences.

These sessions encompass a wide range of activities, from playing and learning different instruments to writing and recording songs, rehearsing, performing, jamming, and large group instrumental sessions.

Mark Bradbury aka Rudosa, a renowned DJ and producer, leads some of the sessions. Mark is also the owner and director of Make Me a DJ, the Manchester-based production and DJ teaching facility, and has been putting together tutorials for the young people using the music room facilities. Mark has compiled over 4,000 pieces of music from different genres which the young people can access.

“Make Me A DJ have been honoured to be asked to help build and create the new music room at The Christie,” he said. “We believe in the power of music and the new space will provide a cool and relaxed environment for people who are having treatment to have some time away to enjoy the facilities.

“Whether it’s compiling a mix with their favourite tunes or sitting down to creating beats in the state-of-the-art production suite, we believe we have taken the space into the modern era where there is something for everyone.”

Hanna Simpson, Teenage Cancer Trust Lead Nurse at The Christie, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this creative space to our young patients here, and we’re very grateful to The Christie Charity whose support for the past nine years and ongoing funding has made a huge difference to everyone who has used the music room facilities.”

The TYA has a patient participation group, The Christie Young Voices Network who directly influence the development of the TYA services and have been instrumental in the development of the music room and its design. A spokesperson for The Young Voices Network said: “The new music room is such a great idea. We are so happy to have a place where people can have an escape to be creative. The music room doesn’t feel like a hospital, so we can momentarily forget everything else going on that we are dealing with ~ it’s a unique space where melodies become medicine.”

Louise Stimson from The Christie Charity said: “We’re deeply committed to offering continued support and funding to our Teenage and Young Adult service at The Christie and we’re delighted to relaunch the music room, a space where young patients can find solace, creativity, and community.

“We’d like to thank Sacha Lord and his WHP team for their support and for the kind donation of additional music equipment to the music room – and for bringing along one of their resident DJs, DJ Sean Slkta.

“We’d also like to thank Mark Bradbury/ Rudosa for his dedication and encouraging the young patients to experiment with the music facilities to develop their DJ and production skills.”

The Warehouse Project has also kindly donated £1480 from the guest list last weekend and the team are ordering £800 worth of music items to add to the music room’s collection.

Sacha Lord said: “When The Christie first contacted me about the new music room, and whether or not I’d like to get involved in the opening, I didn’t hesitate for a second.

“Music can be a release for all of us. A break from normality. A moment to take our mind off our daily troubles…and most importantly, a moment to dance.

“I’m delighted to help launch the new music room, alongside other colleagues from The Warehouse Project, and honoured to have been asked to say a few words on such a special day.’’

The Teenage and Young Adult unit at The Christie was built in 2015 with £10m of the £12m funded by The Christie Charity. The centre houses both the TYA and haematology and transplant services as around a third of the young patients have blood-related cancers.

To support the work of The Christie Charity, please visit our donate page or ring 0161 446 3988.

The Christie Charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education, and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.