Camden Cluster: Xmas party at Roundhouse


Join us for festive drinks this Friday, and learn more about the venue’s often overlooked charitable work that helps over 3000 kids every year



Opportunities for young people at the charitably-funded Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios. Photo: Ellie Pinney
Opportunities for young people at the charitably-funded Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios. Photo: Ellie Pinney
Following recent events at Worklife and Proud Cabaret, the combined communities of Kentish Cluster and the new Camden Cluster come together for a rather special festive bash on Friday (Decmber 4th).

Full details are below, but if last year’s 200+ attendees at The Grafton is anything to go by, this is one local Xmas event well worth attending. And to cap it all, your hosts for the evening are none other than the area’s iconic Roundhouse.

Despite global recognition as one of London’s most beautiful and historic live music venues, many people – including plenty of locals – are still largely unaware of the organisation’s charitable imperative.

Perhaps that’s because of all those high profile gigs, the iTunes festival or the summer beach, yet the real Roundhouse magic actually takes place in the undercroft, deep beneath the main arena, space known as the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios.

“Each year the Roundhouse works with over 3,000 11-25s, offering opportunities in music, performing arts, circus and digital, enabling them to realise their full potential through creativity,” says community development coordinator Charlotte Biddle.

“A majority (60%) of the young people who take part in programmes here are facing socio-economic disadvantage. Where young people may have missed out on experiences growing up, the Roundhouse offers them the chance to thrive in a creative environment.”

So here, in the atmospheric old brick tunnels, young people have access to facilities including media production suites, band rehearsal rooms, media labs, a recording studio and the Bloomberg TV Studio.

They get to work with professional artists and tutors in an inspiring space plus receive one-to-one advice on learning, development and next steps, help finding apprenticeships, training and volunteering opportunities in the creative industries.

“What’s unique about the Roundhouse is its open access programme,” continues Charlotte. “It means every local young person, no matter their socio-economic background, has access to what is on offer – meaning projects act as social levellers and ensure inclusivity regardless of means. And one third of the young people who take part are from the local area.”

Cutting edge music tech facilities for 18-25-year olds. Photo: Ellie Pinney
Cutting edge music tech facilities for 18-25-year olds. Photo: Ellie Pinney

Running such a dedicated and diverse programme costs nearly £3m per year, so as well as all the profits from the main space being ploughed back in to this ground-breaking work, the Roundhouse still relies on the support of individuals, corporates, trusts and foundations to ensure their work can continue.

For more info on this often all-too-unheralded work, take a look at the website. More info will be available from Charlotte and the Roundhouse team on the night too.

Finally, a big congratulations goes out to founding Cluster partner Titus Sharpe of Kentish Town-based business MVF Global. Last month he scooped the Smith and Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year at the National Business Awards, beating some of the UK’s most prominent business leaders to win the prestigious title.

Celebrating all these things and more on Friday, at the final Cluster of 2015.

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Camden Cluster Xmas drinks, Made Bar & Kitchen at Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1, 6pm-9pm. Free, register for you place now, here.

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