People learning to spin the decks get masterclass from superstar DJ Fatboy Slim

Fatboy Slim with participant Amber on the DJ decks Credit: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

People with mental illness who took part in a DJ-ing masterclass found themselves being schooled by award-winning musician Fatboy Slim.

The musician, DJ and record producer, also known as Norman Cook, was the special guest at the workshop in Brighton & Hove, along with Brighton based DJs Audio Anonymous/Atomic Drop.

The event was organised as part of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation's Trust's arts and health programme Make Your Mark and funded by their official NHS charity, Heads On.

Natalie Rowlands, senior occupational therapist at Sussex Partnership, said:  "Whilst there is growing understanding about the role the arts and creativity can play in recovery for people with common mental health problems, much less is known about this for people with severe mental illness, who can often face the greatest stigma around their illness and as a result far less opportunities to be creative.

Fatboy Slim holds two Brit awards and nine MTV Music Video awards

"We are absolutely delighted to be working with Fatboy Slim and Audio Anonymous/Atomic Drop to challenge some of this stigma and bring the sheer joy of music to people.

"It was truly amazing to see the joy on participants' faces during this workshop.

"The aim was to bring people together through music, giving people a unique opportunity that they would not normally have access to, giving people hope, inspiration and a creative outlet.

"One individual told me that it had been a pivotal moment in her life, it was the beginning of a new chapter for her and something she will never forget."

Rachael Duke, Head of Charity at Heads On, said: "We're delighted to be supporting the music workshops, opening up greater access and putting people with severe mental illness at the forefront of creativity; celebrating the extraordinary contribution that participation in the arts can make to recovery.

"For far too long people with severe mental illness have faced stigma and exclusion in all aspects of life and we are thrilled that Fatboy Slim and Audio Anonymous/Atomic Drop have joined us in challenging this."

At 18, Cook went to Brighton Polytechnic and began to develop his DJ-ing skills in the thriving Brighton club scene, appearing as DJ Quentox.

He was then the bassist for the Housemartins, before forming electronic band Beats International in Brighton.