Ben’s Story

28 March 2023

Ben’s time with MYA Noise.

Where did they start?

Ben was a confused young man when he first came along to MYA. Both of his parents are drug users and as a result his life was tough, unstable and uncompromising.

Responsible for running the family home while still at school, and denied the peace and space all teenagers deserve, he inevitably fell behind in school. However he did spend a lot of time staying with his grandmother, and her gift of a guitar in his early teens changed his life.

The one thing in his life that he could control, Ben’s guitar gave him solace from the turbulence and he wanted to take his learning further. While receiving counselling from Young Addiction he was told about MYA and decided to access guitar lessons at the Noise Project.

What did we do?

Ben had never had a reason to trust adults and at first the teaching was fraught and labour intensive. But mentors could see there was a musician within, and that with time, patience, and empathy they would come out. Ben struggled to have faith but over time a sense of routine was established. The more he relaxed the more he learned, and the more he shared – purging withheld trauma and freeing himself from the past.

The Project began to take a hold over Ben, becoming like therapy as he grew more trusting and at ease in himself. Creative thoughts and ambitions began to permeate and there were moments of triumph in the studio. Early demos gave him a confidence he never had before, and finally the real belief that he could become a musician.

Where are they now?

Three years on Ben’s life is unrecognisable. He is self-employed, fronts his own band, and has several residencies across the city. And, despite his broken childhood, he loves his parents no less than he ever did.

Ben is living proof that with the right support networks change does happen – and once change starts it gathers its own momentum. Underpinned by music, and supported by employment prospects and counselling skills, it’s clear how much Ben’s self-esteem has been shaped and nurtured through MYA and Noise.