Release date: 7 March 2019
An empowering new song showcasing the talents of people with learning disabilities has been penned by members of Burnside Day Service.
And now there are high hopes that the song – entitled “Great As Me” – will go on to become a hit for the aspiring musicians.
The song and video sees members of the day service based in Burgess Hill, not only showing off their singing talents, but also celebrating their strengths and individuality.
Featuring in the song and video is Emma who spoke about how she found the experience and what it meant to her.
She said: “When we first talked about writing a song, it was something I’d never done before so I was really excited. It was hard work at times because there was a lot to remember, but it was so great because we wrote it as a group of friends.
“The idea came from thinking what we’d say to the world if we could say anything, and we think it’s important.
“Now it’s finished, I feel so proud of what we’ve done and it’s brilliant that this can make other people happy too.”
Fellow drama group member Kerry also appeared in the video. He said: “Writing a song was new to me, but I enjoyed it so much because the song makes me happy. Now it’s finished I feel clever that we did it, and think everyone should hear it – make it Top 40, or even Number 1!”
Nicole Gilbert joined the day service as a member of support staff not long before the writing process got underway. She said: “To start a new job in care and get involved with this was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. It was so amazing to see such a self-directed project and watching everyone’s progress and enthusiasm was so inspiring.”
Laura Edwards, Burnside manager, added: “The drama group is designed to support confidence, communication and teamwork skills. Within the session there is always a strong emphasis on empowering people to celebrate who they are and what they are capable of.
“This song has been a fantastic opportunity to prove to people that anything is possible with dedication, commitment and belief in yourself.
“We would also like to say a huge thank you to Richard Pearse-Hooley and Sue Cope, two professional musicians, who gave their talent and time to making this possible. It’s a great example of collaborative working with the wider community.”
West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, Amanda Jupp, said: “I think we can all take something from this incredibly inspiring and uplifting video. I wish the Burnside drama group every success in their venture to top the charts!”
The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/_LQlHjg1xaM