Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


We are seeking your support to run an after-school drumming club at Highshore Special School in Southwark. The project will enable young people with autism and other special educational needs to take part in drumming workshops, play in a group, and meet and perform carnival music with a diverse range of peers with different backgrounds and levels of ability. The project will run from January 2018 over two school terms. Participants will then be supported to join our Junior Summer School at Holy Trinity in July and/or our mixed ability Summer School at Southbank Centre in August 2018.

Kinetika Bloco has 16 years’ experience working with children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Southwark, engaging them in workshops, summer schools and large-scale, celebratory performances. We fuse jazz, samba and calypso to create a truly unique British carnival sound combining brass, woodwind, samba drums, steel pans, dancing and costume. Our aim is to engage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in long term creative activity which develops their talent, advances their skills and empowers them to take a lead and inspire others.

We began working with children who have special educational needs and disabilities in 2009. Since then we have engaged 80 children with autism and other needs in over 100 workshops. Of these, 20 have gone on to join the mixed ability Summer Schools at Southbank Centre and Holy Trinity Primary school, and taken part in carnivals and festivals around the UK. We have engaged over 10,000 young people to date and played to audiences of millions including performing for Nelson Mandela and at Beijing Olympic Festival, leading the Team GB Olympic Victory Parade in 2012, launching BBC Get Creative and starring on BBC Radio 3’s Young Artist Day.

After-school drumming club
A Bloco tutor and two young leaders will run sessions from January-July 2018 for 15 Highshore pupils, developing skills and repertoire, teaching rhythm skills and teamwork, helping them to explore their creativity and gain confidence in music and expression. The two young leaders will include at least one previous Highshore Pupil. The leaders will act as role models and will help create the opportunity to build the confidence of the participants by supporting them to a performance each term which will take place outside of their school venue to begin to give them peace of mind ahead of the annual Summer Schools. This will introduce the Highshore pupils to a larger music-making experience slightly outside their comfort zone yet in a comfortable and supportive environment.

Summer schools
The Highshore pupils will be encouraged to attend Junior Summer School and the full scale two-week Summer School in August where they will learn ten new pieces of drumming, combining samba, Afrobeat, reggae, jazz and hiphop. They will learn alongside young people playing brass, woodwind and steel pan, working together as a big team to create a high quality performance.

The project has been designed so that it builds from a familiar after-school environment, through increasingly challenging and rewarding activity towards the high quality experience of the Kinetika Bloco Summer School. It is excellently tailored to the needs of those involved, providing professional tutors and young leaders the opportunity to receive training and mentoring in working with young people with special needs.

Project Video

Kinetika Bloco

Moment of Pride

My brother Peter has Autism and joined into the Bloco after school programme where he progressed into the Summer school and many large performances. Through the social skills, focus and confidence he gained, he has achieved more then we ever expected. I am proud of the whole Bloco Family!

Location: London Borough of Southwark, United Kingdom