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Manchester Foundation
Trust Charity


Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital


The Creativity, Resilience, Enablement and Wellbeing (CREW) project takes place at Galaxy House, an inpatient mental health unit at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Over seven weeks and using creative expression through music, the CREW project provides a platform for healing, building self-confidence and self-esteem and developing core life skills like communication for 10 to 16 year olds at the unit.

Galaxy House cares for children with severe eating disorders, Pervasive Arousal Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), severe psychosomatic conditions and neurodevelopmental difficulties and mental health problems that are severe enough to require inpatient treatment. Through the CREW project, these young people are given the opportunity to develop and showcase their creative selves, helping to re-establish their identity.

Participants explore musical production alongside narratives and lyrics as forms of expression and reflection. Then, working with a music therapist, they developed their ideas to create their own tracks, all in preparation for a live performance at the end of the project.

By turning their stories into lyrics, young people can express feelings and emotions they might have difficulty addressing through conventional therapies, not only providing some relief for them but also allowing their families and carers a greater insight into the challenges they are facing. In 2021, the project saw the group collaborate with the Royal Northern College of Music, who provided a vocalist and a string quartet for live accompaniment at the finale event.

In September 2021, Lexi was diagnosed with a severe eating disorder and admitted to Galaxy House. Whilst they knew it was the right place for her to get the help she needed, her family struggled to leave her there and were unsure how long she would have to stay.

Dad Graham said, “The Psychologist told us that Lexi had started music therapy sessions and that we would get to see her work at the end of the project. I was looking forward to seeing our daughter perform her song but wondered if she would be able to stand in front of everyone, as she initially presented with problems that included low self-esteem and self-confidence.

The performance surpassed all my expectations. I was absolutely amazed to see our daughter Lexi standing there performing and singing her own words about the family and missing us all and home to the music of Adele.

We spoke with Lexi later that day; she was still so buoyant. I could see that being part of the CREW project had made her happy and that she was in a good place. I was buzzing after her performance, seeing what she had achieved.

The CREW project was a catalyst and turning point for our daughter and thanks to the progress she made, Lexi was able to come home for Christmas. She’s now been discharged from the service.

I think the CREW project gave her strength. It made us closer as a family and I feel like I have a daughter that I know and understand more.”

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“I think the CREW project gave her strength. It made us closer as a family and I feel like I have a daughter that I know and understand more.”

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