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Cloth Cat
Old Chapel Studios
1 Crossland Court
Czar Street
Leeds, LS11 9PR

0113 244 2773

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A Song for Us celebrates our community during the COVID 19 pandemic.

A Song for Us seeks to encapsulate the coming together and solidarity that was apparent during the clap for the NHS, the extraordinary response to the NHS volunteer army, the small acts of kindness.

A Song for Us works with partners in each county in the UK to create a new song or piece of music written to celebrate us and will be premiered each month. Song-writing workshops for local
people will run to help participants create their own song touching on their experiences.

Cloth Cat will be working with Boff Whalley from Chumbawamba to create a Song for West Yorkshire with two song writing workshops at Slung Low in Holbeck on Friday 10th December and Friday 17th December 11.30am – 1.00pm. Why not come along and make your voice heard, be creative and help to write a wonderful song to celebrate us!

Please get in touch if you’d like to come along at we’d love to see you 🙂

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Cloth Cat are looking for management committee members. There are several roles available. Download the Management Committee Pack here. You will find the description of each role and it’s responsibilities.

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A Leeds charity that uses music to support people’s mental health and wellbeing received a housebuilder’s donation to help launch is latest project.

Cloth Cat Studios was awarded £929 from the Persimmon Homes Community Champion scheme which will help fund musical workshops and performances at hospitals and mental health units around the city.

Shelly Johnson from Cloth Cat Studios said: “We aim to use the power of music, in its many forms, to enable people to express themselves and support their emotional wellbeing.

“Our exciting new ‘Beats the Blue’ project will work specifically with NHS mental health facilities to help support individuals’ rehabilitation during a hospital stay. The project will feature DJ’ing, song writing and guitar sessions, along with music performances.

“We are very grateful for Persimmon’s support as it will ensure we can deliver this latest venture.”

As part of the Persimmon Homes Community Champions scheme, each month the housebuilder identifies two good causes in the region, pledging donations of up to £1,000 to help them develop or maintain their work.

Christopher Hull, managing director for Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire, said: “We were delighted to hear about the amazing work of Cloth Cat and are very happy to help support their latest project.

“We would encourage other such worthy groups to apply to our Community Champions scheme so we can continue to support more local good causes.”

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Audiences and acts returned in-person at the Pack Horse in early Autumn 2021 and our resident blogger, Declan Campbell, wrote this review of from Thursday 9th September

Cloth Cat’s open mic night – more than just music.

The return of Cloth Cat’s open mic night @ the Pack Horse pub (Hyde Park) has been gradual, yet entertaining, nonetheless. Many people are still making that transition back to normal life, and so venues remain at a limited capacity, to manage Covid-19 issues and any residual nervousness that people may have. This was my first event as a Cloth Cat volunteer, having joined in the November of 2020 – so I was eager at what awaited.

I began by meeting the wonderful Shelly, who’s tiresome work never goes unnoticed by our charity regulars. It was the first time I’ve set foot in the pub that wasn’t after a long day on the Otley Run, and a crisp pint of Moretti had me ready for a night of live music. The attendance was minimal, but the mood was high, and so too the quality of the acts. On the night there was a rumour going round that the iconic guitar amp brand Marshall Amps will be providing some kit to help support the Open Mic night which will be fantastic for future performers and audiences. 

Nick Wood opened the night on guitar, and we never looked back. His craftsmanship with an instrument was a sight to behold. After his three songs I introduced myself and found the event perfectly encapsulated in one sentence, as Nick said: “I’ve never done this for the money or fame, I just love music” Which is a core value here at Cloth Cat, and it’s great to see our supporters share those feelings.

Jimmy Connell was up next, and the vibe of the room changed. Behind every word of Jimmy’s songs was a story to be told, he sings of his experiences working with homeless people, of which he has done for over 30 years. With one hand in his pocket and another on the heart strings, Jimmy had the room gripped, and it’s passion like his that makes music so fantastic. “Every time I listen to Jimmy, I learn something I never thought I would” finished Shelly.

After a couple of online acts and a quick cameo from David Sowden it was time for the main event: The Beer Snobs. A band that would be comfortable playing in front of anyone, their quick wit and stage presence meant that every second was a performance for them, a band who could’ve played all night to an audience who wanted to listen, it ended the night on a true high. 

The truth of it is that Cloth Cat’s open mic night is about more than just music  – it’s about togetherness and unity through music, it’s a branch of one person’s  life work and dedication to making our great City that little bit greater. After just one event, I felt a real connection to this great charity and joined a friendly local music community.

Mos Eisely Cantina Cloth Cat Open Mic night takes place in person every Thursday at the Pack Horse in Leeds (Hyde Park) and currently takes place online on Tuesdays. Check the Facebook page for updates.

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Job Purpose:

Based at our office in Holbeck, the role will be to support the manager and the Cloth Cat team by providing and maintaining high-quality clerical and administrative services, and act as a first point of contact for a range of stakeholders as needed.


Job tasks:

  • Acting as a first point of contact for enquiries: responding to phone calls, emails and post, and passing on messages / letters as appropriate, and welcoming visitors to the Cloth Cat office
  • To maintain administrative office systems (both manual and electronic)
  • To communicate course and event information to sessional workers, participants and volunteers
  • To undertake general administrative duties such as data entry, printing / photocopying and procurement
  • To distributing marketing materials for Cloth Cat projects, courses and events both online and within the community
  • To attend and participate in meetings when requested
  • To carry out any other duties as required, which are appropriate to the nature of the post and its level of responsibility
  • To carry out all duties of the post in accordance with Cloth Cat’s Policies and Procedures, with particular reference to Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion


Person Specification:

We are looking for someone:

  • with two years’ experience working in a clerical / administrative role 
  • who has a friendly and outgoing personality. 
  • who is a clear communicator with excellent organisational skills. 
  • Who has a strong commitment to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Who is self-motivated whilst being able to work as part of a team. 


Administrative Assistant

£21,322 pro rata for 7 hours per week (actual salary = £4,034 per annum) 

1 Year Fixed-term Contract in the first instance. Start date Monday 4th October 2021

Deadline for applications: 12 NOON on 20th September 2021

For a full application pack, please contact Shelly Johnson at


Cloth Cat Studios Ltd is a Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 No. 28890R and as a charity with the Inland Revenue ref. XR31169 Funded by

Community Fund Logo


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The Music Box LogoA NEW and exciting project has opened in Pudsey Leeds called The Music Box. They had their FREE launch event on Tuesday 1 June at Pudsey House which was a great success. Young people were performing LIVE music outside where crowds gathered, social distanced of course, to sing along in the sun. Inside there was DJ’ing, arts & crafts and a chance to pick up an instrument and have a go.

The brains behind this wonderful new music project is Dan De Lissandri, Kate Frazer & Rich Huxley who all bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from the music industry.

Dan has been a DJ and music producer for many years. He has been DJ’ing in Leeds pubs and clubs as well as teaching young people in schools. We know Dan well at Cloth Cat as he has been our Tutor for both adults and young people since January 2020.

Kate is an all-rounder within the music industry who has worked on events within the community, collaborating with musicians and performers at venues in the local area. Kate recently recorded and released a song in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust and is founder of Schoolz at Home. Kate will be releasing new original music soon with European Music Producers The Marveltonez. Kate also has years of teaching experience in schools and colleges around West Yorkshire and she is passionate about sharing musical experience and knowledge to aspiring young musicians and people.

Rich is a musician, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, vocalist, record producer, educator, ukulele enthusiast and a one-man community music hub. Rich plays strings and things and sings with Hope and Social and is founder of the world’s first fan-funded record label. Rich is an award winning creative entrepreneur who works internationally as an artist, songwriter, producer and creative entrepreneur. Rich is also know to Cloth Cat as he mentored our first GYAT band The Slates who have released their debut single ‘Try That’.

All three of these amazing people are strong believers in the power of music as a force for empowerment, joy, for social engagement and for the greater good.

It’s great to see a new music project come to Leeds, especially one with so much passion and pride behind it. Get in contact with them via email at INFO@THEMUSICBOX.ORG.UK

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For over 20 years, Cloth Cat has prided itself on helping young people, through the power of music. We are proud of any and all of the people we work with, but here we are casting the spotlight on one individual in particular, and that is Dylan Reains, otherwise known as DJ Dylan of Double D’s productions.

Dylan first heard about our charity through his Uncle, James Reains, another one of our generous volunteers, and was soon put onto our Ableton course. Having practiced with his own decks at home, which had been passed down through the family – Dylan soon found a burning passion for House music, and thanks to support from Dan Di Lissandri, his family and fellow DJ’s like Dale Castell, who has helped him greatly with his decks, Dylan has been able to achieve great success within our charity.

Dylan’s streams were a constant success throughout our Get Your Act Together initiative, drawing in consistent high numbers during his weekly slot. The progression that Dylan has shown over the past year is something we are all immensely proud of, and it is something he spoke openly about himself:
“Cloth Cat has helped me a lot through lockdown, it’s given me confidence in myself and when speaking to others.”
He also noted that Cloth Cat has helped him realise ‘what he actually wants to do’ in terms of career prospects.

Speaking on his new-found confidence, having finished up at college, Dylan was then interviewed on the radio by BBC’s Stephanie Hirst! before his far more illustrious zoom call with myself (just kidding, Steph).

We mentioned earlier about the progression Dylan has made in just over a year, and his achievements may best be summed up by his recent inclusion at the Warehouse, with thanks to Martin Stockwell, Dylan will be performing the opening set at Casa Loco, on June 26. Also joining Dylan on stage that night will be acts he has looked up to for a while, including Alex Simmons and Ste Haley – with the latter even reaching out to Dylan to offer him a hand on the night, should he need it.

Another big move in Dylan’s career will be his participation in future Ableton courses, not as a student, but as a volunteer – which emphasises the knowledge and progress he has developed over the last year or so.

If you are interested in more of what Dylan does, be sure to check out his Facebook page and his merchandise store.

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Volunteers Week takes place 1-7 June every year. It’s a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities and say thank you.

Volunteers’ Week 2021 is a time to say thanks. It goes without saying that volunteers have played a key role in the pandemic response. During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life around the UK have taken the time to volunteer and make a huge difference to their communities – just as they do every year. This is a time for us to come together and thank all volunteers for their invaluable contribution.

Cloth Cat wishes to say a massive Thank You! To all their volunteers who have worked so hard through the last year to help keep the organisation running. This new website was developed over the last 7 months by Vicky Bower and Claire Powell and as well as their hard work we have had Jenny Sellers running our Social media, creating all the Canva designs and images, Declan Campbell analysing the organisation and developing new business opportunities as well as writing news articles and much more.

Further to this we had Annette Brooks creating all our newsletters and community round up’s via Mailchimp, Darren Smith supporting Man About Town and Ian Laidlaw who has been a long standing volunteer at Cloth Cat supporting us with Discog sales, renovations and much more.

Our recent recruits to the Cloth Cat family are Leon Walters, Will Fakes & Dylan Reains who are supporting the GYAT project where they assist the tutors and young people in each session.

Let’s not forget our wonderful Management Committee members who have supported the staff and organisation through a very tough year, and all the other volunteers who have been unable to carry out their roles as the studios have been closed.

To all our volunteers, past and present, we say a massive Thank You as without your help and support Cloth Cat would not be where it is today.

This 37th annual Volunteers’ Week is taking place during the #MonthofCommunity. Running throughout June, #MonthOfCommunity brings together organisations with a range of events in order to encourage us all to think about and join in with activities happening in our local communities. Find out more here

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It’s great to have been included on the Sonic Stops project made by Better Songs Productions This audio project captures the geography and history of the city through the lens of the Leeds music scene. You’ll be able to catch the Cloth Cat story, along with others, on the 50A bus from Kirkstall Abbey to Harehills. There’s also a full exhibition on the ‘Sounds of our City’ at Abbey House Museum in Kirkstall too and you can find more information about the project here:

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The story of Cloth Cat can be told from many different perspectives, from the full-time members of staff to the volunteers, our regular and long-time supporters, or our co-op members – but the best way to showcase what we do as a charity is to tell it through the eyes of some of our very own success stories.

The Slates (as a quartet) have been together for around two-and-a-half years, were finalists of the ‘be free’ battle of the bands in 2021, having won a version of the competition previously. Lead singer Louis stated their inspirations for music are the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen and the Arctic Monkeys (specifically the first three albums).
Through the help of the excellent music tutors at Cloth Cat, such as Rich Huxley, Fuzzy Jones, Pat Fulgoni and many more, the lads have been able to release their debut single ‘Try That’ on all major streaming platforms through Cloth Cat’s National lottery-funded Project ‘Get Your Act Together’ (GYAT).

During the interview, the lads spoke passionately of their love for music and their desire to make a career from doing the thing they love. Before joining the GYAT campaign, the boys would practice their music at each other’s houses before they began making their music in a former slaughterhouse, owned by lead guitarist Joe’s family. While this may be the perfect anecdote for years to come, the band eventually wanted to take their music to the next level, and gain studio experience, which through the advice of friends and family – Cloth Cat were able to oblige. Going into their first visit to our charity, the group said that they didn’t actually know what to expect of it, but it didn’t take long for them to realise they were in the right place to develop their skillset, with drummer Zak saying: “we just loved the vibe of it.”

The past year has been difficult for everyone, and motivation is something a lot of us have struggled with – but The Slates’ hunger for music has not diminished in the slightest. Performing in the battle of bands final over a zoom call was probably something they never thought they would experience, but they persevered. The same sort of unity was brought about by our charity and its fans when the highly demanded GYAT continued through lockdown to give our followers a much-needed escape – which symbolises the unity and togetherness we always strive to achieve through music.

It’s hard to some up in one paragraph what the future holds for such a talented young group, but the lads gave it their best shot: Bassist Jude said: “The plan is that we don’t have to work other jobs and that this is what we get to do for a career.” Zak portrayed an emotion that we all feel in life, and that being able to do something you love for a living, is incomparable to anything else. He also pointed out that money isn’t a motivation, but the love for music is the main driving factor. “Me and 3 of my best mates touring, making music… What a life that would be.”



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