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Success Of Kane FM’s MindWaves Programme That Really Helps Young People In Need

Published on: 30 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 30 Jun, 2022

A free programme in Guildford in which young people learn about radio production, broadcasting techniques and digital DJ-ing and music production is proving to be a tremendous benefit to those who have been on the course.

The MindWaves programme, offered by Guildford radio station Kane FM, teaches young people how to mix sounds, digital music skills and broadcasting techniques.

Called MindWaves, it is hosted by Guildford-based Kane FM, the not-for-profit community radio station that plays a wide range of music not normally heard on other radio stations.

Kane FM’s youth projects manager and creator Jenniann Davies said: “The programme began by offering school pupils a week’s work experience and has developed considerably since then.

“We take young people from the age of 14 to 25 and they learn how to mix sounds, digital music skills and broadcasting techniques. They gain confidence using a microphone and making their own music tracks to a finished product.

“Our skills are working with teenagers who find it hard to engage generally. We support about 50 young people a year.”

Pictured from left: Mary Grimes, Jenniann Davies, Gideon Sedgwick, and Teddy.

To go on the course, young people have to meet the criteria of either having special educational needs or suffering from their mental health.

Students will be assessed by Jenniann before they join the course and they are initially invited to check out the studio and its equipment, based at the YMCA building in Bridge Street, Guildford.

The course typically consists of one-and-a-half-hour sessions for whatever period the young person needs. Students have one-to-one sessions.

After completing the course, students can gain an Arts Award accreditation. They benefit tremendously by improving their confidence and social skills. This, Jenniann points out, helps with their future employment prospects, while support continues after their course. “We just don’t drop them afterwards,” she adds.

Gideon Sedgwick is a full-time tutor who works with Jenniann on the project and covers the music tech side of things. While Mary Grimes assists Jenniann with the administration, monitoring and acts as a sounding board for the programme.

After completing the course, students can gain an Arts Award accreditation.

Jenniann added: “The main age group we support are people aged 16 to 18. Many of these are not in education, not working or being trained for work. We take referrals from a wide range of services, including the education sector, social services, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, mental health teams, as well as self-referrals.”

Her own background, of some 45 years, is in teaching, youth justice, as well as social services working with young people and families. Her wealth of experience includes running her own company teaching people how to work with adolescents.

The MindWaves programme has of late been jointly sponsored by the Guildford and Waverley NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and Surrey County Council’s Special Educational Needs and Disability service. Current funding will last until January 2023. MindWaves costs £60,000 per year to operate.

Jenniann says she is not certain whether the NHS funding will continue and is therefore looking to speak to other key organisations who may be able to offer funding. She said: “Where has the money gone for mental health? Give me contacts.”

Another programme that is run by Kane FM is its Citizen Kane Project.

This was launched in 2020 during the first lockdown of the pandemic. It is what’s termed “a remote project for media” and allows young people to be involved in events and media as well as producing positive bulletins that are broadcasted by the radio station.

Kane FM has also provided work to three young people via the government’s Kickstart Scheme, which provided funding to employers to create jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit, for six months

Jenniann explained: “These people worked as part of our Citizen Kane programme and produced articles to be broadcast on air, helped with our social media and our website.

“Our first Kickstart employee now has a full-time job elsewhere, while also helping us as a volunteer. The second currently has a part-time job in hospitality, while continuing to write bulletins for us.

“The third person did lots of good work on our website and recently has had an exhibition at Guildford’s New House art gallery, where she has now been given employment.

Here are some testimonials from some of the young people who have attended the programme:

“Kane means a whole lot to me as I have nothing to do in the day and Kane makes me get out of bed and enjoy myself. It’s the highlight of my week; it helps me with my confidence and social skills.”

“Life sucks sometimes – most of the time right now. Kane Fm is one of those things that help you get away from day-to-day teen life pressures. It is like a semi mixture between therapy, music, and learning skills to become more independent. Kane FM is one of the only things / activities I have weekly, while I’m trying to get back into education. I get extremely bored and lonely, and sad being stuck at home all day, everyday with no social interaction. I’ve learnt to trust the people at Kane as they’ve always had my best interests at heart and always been there for me. It feels good to expand my knowledge on music as it is one of my main interests.”

“I owe so much to Kane, not only have they provided me with access to their studio to help me pursue my music career; they also opened their hearts to me and helped me through a dark time in my life. Kane has made me a better person and has inspired me to help others. Kane helps people.”

“Coming to Kane has definitely helped me to perceive life a lot differently. Not only do they help you create, mix and understand music and the industry but they also come across as mentors. They have helped me create my own songs, shown me more technical mixing techniques and in one session when we had a chat it helped my confidence, self-belief and overall mood. I highly enjoy coming to these sessions as I do feel as though they are productive, and I always get something out of them.”

Fane FM’s MindWaves programme costs £60,000 per year to operate.

For more details of Kane FM’s MindWaves programme, email Jenniann Davies at

Or phone on 07970 238004.

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