Musician and performer, Duane, is supported by the team at The Gate and really enjoys hanging out with all The Gate regulars.
My mate Brian suggested trying The Gate and now I come whenever I can.
I travel in from Greenford, which is a long way, but it’s worth it. We laugh the whole day and have a joke. I don’t like moany people. I would be so bored at home if I couldn’t come here. I live with my mum so it stops me annoying her (and her annoying me!).
I have learned to play the guitar and bass and now I have regular band practice. It’s good to learn something new and we have performed at places like Café Oto in Dalston. I listen to Jay-Z and have been inspired by Eminem and I would like to be an artist. I would like to do more gigs and to push my music along. I want to get out there!
Music helps my lifestyle and writing songs is a way of fighting off sadness. During lockdown I learned to use apps and write songs on my phone. The words just flowed out of me.
With the help of people at The Gate, I have recorded my own CD. It’s called ‘Mr Amazing Think Big’. My music is quite loud and I think my mum was a bit shocked when she first heard it, but now she is happy.
“At The Gate, no one tells you to turn it down” Duane
As well as music I have been shown how to do graffiti art and we have made t-Shirts with fashion students. I have been on our Resonance Radio show called ‘Gate Kicks’ talking about what we are doing here and what it’s like to have a learning disability.
I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been there for me at The Gate. I have been supported for more than 10 years. It’s a place where I can make new friends and learn new things. My life would be really boring without it!
Read more stories from our impact report: Express Yourself
We support the artists there to bring their ideas to life. Not everybody is a maker, so we help them cut and sew and make things which get sold in our shop.
The Old Vic
Kate Lawrence Lunniss, Community Manager at the Old Vic, talks about our work together to support creative expression.
The Brit School
We’ve been working with the community engagement team and Connect and Do for over ten years now and it’s grown into two community partnership events per year.
Kirstie listens to my stories and helps me write them down and my daughter is typing them up. I hope Certitude can help me publish my book.
I have written and recorded more than 150 songs while coming to The Gate and I love to perform.
I’ve been drawing for a long time, as long as I can remember. I also love drinking tea, but drawing is special to me.
Back in 2018 I’d been feeling unwell and was getting some support. Somebody recommended that I go to these creative community sessions called Connect and Do.