I’ve been lucky enough to work at Petty Pool Vocational College for the last 13 years and worked with some truly wonderful students and staff in that time.

The college really goes that extra mile to get young people with learning difficulties into employment and to help spread the valued contribution of disabled people in their community.

As well as this, Petty Pool has always strived to do the most fun, inventive and life-enriching extra activities for their students, and I was once again super lucky to have been asked to participate in the second of their bespoke Music Festivals!

A couple of years ago, it became apparent that one of the areas where young people with learning difficulties really miss out is in the arena of live music and music festivals. Families with young people with learning difficulties often have expensive care needs which take away the financial means to spend on going out to these sorts of places. There are also lots of factors that can make festivals uncomfortable for people with sensory processing difficulties; such as huge crowds, very loud music and unfamiliar surroundings.

With all this in mind, director of student services Nicola Colenso set about planning a festival that would be friendly, fun and accessible, and the Petty Pool Music Festival was born!

I was very lucky to be asked to close the first one, back in 2017 with a solo set. And fast forward 2 years and I was once again privileged to play the last slot of the day with a staff band we out together called ‘The Educators.’

This was made up of tutors Ant (lead vocals) and me (bass) and learner mentors Graeme L (keyboard) and Graham H (guitar) and over the course of a few months we put together a set of covers we felt the students would like.

It was an incredible day and I was honoured to have had chance to be part of it and super proud to work with our amazing students!

Here is a video I put together about the day!:

And a special edition of my ‘Doorstep Mixtape’ show with more information and live highlights from the day!: