Big Music Project

  • 20 July 2018

Last Thursday marked exactly a year since Charn Madden wrote the song ‘Not Afraid’ when she hit rock bottom and had to live in her car. A lot has happened in a year for Charn, including standing up in front of 200 people at the Step by Step SLEEP OUT last month to perform this extremely personal song.

Although Charn has not directly accessed Step by Step’s services, she became involved in our charity through The Big Music Project, were she performed at The Big Music Live event in March 2018 at The Ministry of Sound. It was then we learned of her experience with homelessness.

Talking about her SLEEP OUT experience, Charn says:

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my journey and my personal achievements, it is important for me to help people realise what is possible, especially if you have mental health issues like me. There are times when I felt very alone and oblivious that there were people able to help”

When Charn was asked what she would say to those who have been in her position, she said:

“Even if you feel like you don’t have your friends or family around you, there are always people who want to support you even if it is a stranger smiling at you on the street or someone at your local youth group”

For Charn, it was her experience at this youth group that changed her life for the better. Performing Rooms in Northampton - a music programme that encourages young people to express themselves positively through music - provided that support for Charn to get help. It was this support that allowed Charn to realise that she was not alone and that people are trying to help her.

A year on, Charn reflects on how far she has come since the day the song was written:

“It just goes to show how quickly things can change even in such a short space of time. The stage is my happy place and the reason I was able to turn it around was because of my music, it feels like my own little world”

After the performance at the SLEEP OUT, one of the sleepers approached Charn to share how the song had resonated with her and how it gave her the hope and inspiration to resolve her own situation.

“It was a special feeling that I was able to help others with my music and I hope to be able to do it on a bigger scale one day"

The Big Music Project is Lottery Funded but sadly comes to an end after July.