Through his Foundation and partnership with Warner Music Group, Peckham-born Rio Ferdinand has once again demonstrated his passion for creating opportunities for young people to tackle inequality, achieve their potential, and drive social change by offering Peckham Studios a fighting chance for survival.

Mikuel young person at Peckham Studio smiling

After twenty years of service to the community, Peckham Studios, the free music studio for young people in Southeast London, found itself with a critical shortfall in funding.

The £6,000 contribution from the Rio Ferdinand Foundation is part of a more comprehensive national programme with Warner Music. This partnership supports young people in building skills and developing careers in the music industry. The funds will allow Peckham Studios to stay open over the summer of 2024 and continue receiving young people for creative music sessions.

In addition, the partnership between Groundwork London and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, which starts on June 24th, will provide the project with staff and expertise through its on and off-site pastoral support services.’

Since its opening in 2004, Peckham Studios—a project run by the social and environmental charity Groundwork London—has supported over 600 young people from London’s disadvantaged communities through music workshops, mentoring, and free access to its well-equipped multi-room studio facilities.

But more than just a place to make music, Peckham Studios offers young people a safe place to express who they really are; it provides an environment for creativity and expression, which in turn creates a sense of community.

Unfortunately, due to cuts in previously available funding, Peckham Studios had to reduce its opening hours to only four hours each week until it almost closed for good in June 2024.

But music, like sport, can positively change people’s lives. Thanks to the Rio Ferdinand Foundation’s support, we are happy to say we are still in the game (for now).

“The writing process helps me process what I am going through because it makes me more self-aware of my situation. We must keep Peckham Studios open to give young people a platform.” Jade, 23, Peckham Studios beneficiary

“The Rio Ferdinand Foundation ‘Into the Music Industry’ partnership with Warner Music is all about supporting young people to build the skills and the networks for young people to flourish in any number of roles within music.

“Access to grassroots facilities is crucial and building a partnership with Groundwork to support the Peckham Studios and develop a sustainable hub for music development in Southwark is key for us in South London.

“We will work with Groundwork London, and our partners to help keep this facility open and available to young people. We encourage anyone interested in supporting young people or music artists in Southwark and South London to get involved and do the same.”
Rio Ferdinand, Founder, Rio Ferdinand Foundation

Peckham Studios is not ready to remain on the bench yet and still needs further support.

We are calling on organisations and individuals passionate about helping young people shape better lives for themselves to join the Rio Ferdinand Foundation in financially supporting Peckham Studios.

Our financial goal to keep the studios running for at least two days a week for the next 12 months is £60,000.

“At Groundwork London, we work in supportive and creative ways to help young people make the most of their education and talents, improve their wellbeing, coach them towards new opportunities, and ultimately be their best. With its free music and mentoring programmes, Peckham Studios has been instrumental in positively shaping the lives of so many young people over many years. I am very grateful for the support from the Rio Ferdinand Foundation – enabling us to stay in the game – and am calling on other organisations, companies and community-minded people for further support to keep Peckham Studios and its young people playing for the long term.”
Shabaz Ferozdin – Assistant Director, Youth Services – Groundwork London

£60,000 funding will enable us to offer a more significant number of young people even more opportunities to create their music, from learning about composition & songwriting, digital music production, and singing/vocal techniques to receiving free access to our library of music instruments and our professional tutors in our dedicated recording, editing and rehearsal spaces.

“They encouraged me to start my songs. What I am rapping about right now is whatever comes to my mind. If a certain feeling needs to come out, I will write it down. I talk about it a lot”. Mikuel, 15, Peckham Studio beneficiary.

Not only do we support our budding artists in finding their voice, but we also take them through the necessary legal and practical steps to releasing their songs onto major streaming platforms—which some of our recent alumni have done to great success. We can also coach them in the art of performing live and the creation of music videos to accompany their songs, as well as give guidance regarding their publishing and ownership rights.

All this great and valuable support to and for young people will only continue with the support of partners and funders such as the Rio Ferdinand Foundation. To discuss funding and partnership opportunities, please get in touch with us at:

About Peckham Studios: A project managed by Groundwork London, providing a fully equipped studio space, Peckham Studios develops young people’s passion for music, giving young people of all abilities the opportunity to experiment with music in a fun and creative way, and developing the careers of up-and-coming local artists.

To support Peckham Studios: