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IPIA Roundtable Feature Series (Part 3): Steph Dickinson and Adam Pullman from PIE Factory Music

Even if you didn’t manage to attend Inclusive Practice In Action 2022, we wanted to share with you insights from the brilliant individuals and organisations that joined us at our annual conference, and whom are working to put mental health and wellbeing at the forefront of the music education sector. Today we speak to Steph Dickinson and Adam Pullman of PIE Factory Music.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Steph: Hello! I’m Steph. I am a mother, a foster carer and charity leader. I care deeply about people and I have learnt that caring for myself and my own wellbeing is an absolutely vital part of that. As well as music, which is deep in my veins, I love sea-swimming, dancing and eating good food with my friends.

Adam: I am the guitarist and co-vocalist of the Punk band Rats Nest, I have been making music since I was 16, when I also started to go along to Pie Factory Music, where I now work as Programme Assistant.

What do you do and what are you passionate about?

Steph: I am passionate about social justice, authentic leadership and I am living for a world where all people are loved and celebrated.

Adam: Without sounding cliché, it has to be music, and as a whole, storytelling. I think there is nothing more powerful than being able to connect to people by sharing stories in unique ways (music, film, art, dance). Whilst working at Pie Factory Music it’s been amazing to help other young people find their voice and not be afraid to express themselves, and expressing yourself through storytelling can help.

What are the reasons that you decided to do what you do today?

Steph: I actually used to go along to PIE sessions when I was a teenager and it was there that I wanted to combine my love of music and people in my work. There have been a few people who made a marked difference in my life by seeing something in me (often when I couldn’t myself), and encouraging me to pursue things I am passionate about, including family members, teachers, friends and colleagues. To be honest, I didn’t know if I was ready to start leading PIE in 2014 – I felt a mixture of honour and trepidation – but I soon realised that I will probably never feel completely ‘ready’, and that’s not a bad place to be as I’ll always be learning from others. I feel so lucky to do a job that I love alongside such incredible people.

Adam: Having such a close tie to Pie Factory Music, being able to work here has felt like the natural next step. Being able to share my own personal life experience and put it into my work has made me realise my job is rewarding, even though I am still early in my career, both as a musician and working in the charity sector, I feel a sense of achievement in being able to help people.

Who are the people that engage with your work?

Steph: At PIE, we predominantly work with young people between the ages of 8-25 years old, and we are deeply embedded in our local community in East Kent. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our community.

Adam: Pie Factory Music is also an open access youth center, so not only do we engage with young people and musicians, we also get to engage with the local community as a whole.

What are your hopes are for IPIA? What can people expect to gain by coming to and attending your session?

Steph: It is my hope that everyone at IPIA is able to be real about their own wellbeing and, in turn, authentically consider how we can best support the wellbeing of those we’re working with. People can expect honesty, challenge, and will leave feeling hopeful. We’ll be sharing stories, songs, and getting creative together.

Adam: I would like people to be able to listen to other people’s experience and not be afraid to ask questions as well as being able to feel safe in talking about their own.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Adam: I would recommend that anyone look up all the work Pie Factory Music has done in its 20 years of life. Pie Factory Music has meant so much to so many people in the East Kent area.

Find out more about the brilliant work being done at PIE Factory Music >

Steph Dickinson (She / her)

Steph is the Managing Director of PIE (formally known as Pie Factory Music), an East Kent charity who are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year! PIE believes in a world where every young person has a good quality of life with access to creative opportunities and a community of support. Having attended Pie as a young person herself, and grown up in Thanet, Steph has a unique perspective on charity leadership. Steph has extensive knowledge and experience of working with young people who face challenging circumstances such as socio-economic disadvantage and those who are care-experienced. Steph is a musician and songwriter, she is passionate about people, creativity and good food.



Adam Pullman (He / him)

Adam Pullman is a musician and songwriter who began attending Pie Factory Music at the age of 16, working on beats with other Pie Factory Music alumni. He now plays in a punk band called Rats Nest which has been going strong for 5 years. Adam joined Pie Factory Music’s Emerging Artist Programme, which helps young artists aged 16-25 learn about the music industry with help from mentors and masterclasses, in 2020. Adam was a member of the collective that started ‘Wantsum Music?’ a youth led record label profiling participants on the programme. In 2021 Adam joined the Pie Factory Music team as their Programme Assistant, and now works alongside the music and creative arts team helping plan different events and projects.



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