Matthew is 32 and has played drums from the age of 18 with his dad and uncle in a band. Most gigs have been family events or fund-raising ones. When we heard about the Beat it Project and auditions taking place in Leeds in 2009 He tried for the drumming slot.
On the audition day, he looked like a young boy who had taken a wrong turning and found himself amongst the heavy metal wannabes. However, he made it through and the process of leaving his dad for the big city began (I tell people there were musical differences and the split was inevitable).
The Outsiders were born and he and Bruno shared drumming duties and after a very short time was playing 2 gigs in Leeds. The band stood as a genuine act but there were many tears of pride and joy amongst family and friends who attended. I couldn’t see the professionals in the wings but suspect the feelings were shared there too. They have a lot to be proud of.
Matthew has always had a stage presence and an eye for an audience but along the way he has grown in confidence and his drumming has improved through the discipline of studio practice. It has also been a lesson in independence and transfer of support to others. It has helped in the personalisation process and accelerated the I Budget process for him. He is now funded for the activity and for a PA to travel with him and this includes transport training to use the train. I think that having a focus on such an activity, the support required and targets for using transport certainly helped with the process to identify needs and future aspirations regarding independence. Council services like good examples to promote and I’m sure the Downs man traveling by train to Leeds to play in a band will be quoted alongside the person holiday in Tenerife for respite and the microenterprise set up by someone with complex needs. Some of it is true!