As a charity we rely on donations to help us keep providing these great spaces for young people. Your donations will help to provide training and certification for young people, equipment to enhance the music evenings for young people and help in affording the hire costs of the venues we operate in.


Details available on request, please email:




The Basement Door is a new charity (having obtained charitable status in February 2018) but its origins go back to 2008 when Katie Thompson, now one of the trustees, had the idea for a music venue run by, and for, young people. Founded around musical events, its primary objectives were – and are – to provide a safe (drug and alcohol-free) space for young people to socialise while developing the skills and confidence to enter adulthood and the world of work. 

Under the management of Katie Thompson and Kev Westbury, it continued to grow as part of the Vineyard Community Centre and from 2015-2017 was run as a Community Interest Company. In order to better serve the needs of the ever-growing Basement Door community and to reflect its new charitable status, a board of trustees has been appointed to support and oversee The Basement Door's activities, guide the existing staff, assist with fundraising and provide suitable corporate governance as The Basement Door enters the next phase of its development. The trustees bring a range of different but complementary skills to the charity, and are extremely passionate about The Basement Door's aims and activities.

With over 30 volunteers and 200 bands and solo acts on the roster, this inspiring venture remains true to its roots, welcoming growing numbers of performers, volunteers, music lovers and their families to its weekly gig nights, at which its volunteers can put their training into practice and – we hope – have a lot of fun!



Tom Johnson

Tom is passionate (borderline obsessive) about music of all genres, from obscure Australian indie bands to Church music (he was a keen musician in his youth, spending 5 years in the choir of Westminster Abbey), via a particular love of Leonard Cohen. Tom really enjoys watching live acts (including his own children) at The Basement Door and seeing how they develop with experience.  He also believes very strongly in the educational and social benefits offered by The Basement Door, and takes great pleasure from seeing the volunteers increase in confidence over time.  When not listening to music or struggling to keep fit, Tom is a qualified solicitor, and brings analytical ability and rigour to its meetings and processes, while helping to drive forward the fund-raising initiatives.


Annabel Johnson

Annabel was a keen classical musician in her youth and is a huge fan of The Basement Door. She and her husband, Tom Johnson (see above) have three children - all of whom are passionate about The Basement Door and regularly perform and volunteer there - and have seen at close quarters the beneficial effect on their teenage children of being part of such a positive and inclusive project.  As well as being a keep fit fanatic (regularly spotted at boot camp classes in local parks), Annabel is a qualified solicitor with over 25 years' experience of working in banking and finance.  She worked closely with Kev to lead The Basement Door’s conversion to a charity, and is working hard with the other trustees to raise funds to secure the future of The Basement Door.

Katie Thompson

Katie originally hails from a small town in Northern Michigan, USA. She came to London in 2004 to study and received her BA (Honours) in Youth Work. Katie founded The Basement Door in October 2008 and it was through The Basement Door that she fell in love with making coffee. Ten years later she found herself in the arms of Artisan as a Senior Barista, and through them has received SCA Barista Foundation, Barista Intermediate and Brewing Intermediate qualifications. Katie has an incredible passion for community and the role fantastic food and drink play in bringing people together. When she’s not behind the machine at Artisan’s Stamford Brook shop, she’s playing tabletop role-playing games, listening to and playing music, geeking out to books, films and TV series and exploring the vast world of coffee.

Michael Carstens

Being from South Africa, I love all things Nandos. My role as Trustee at TBD allows me to use my skills in finance and business to serve the charity as treasurer and I am passionate to see young people succeed and fulfil their dreams and goals and honoured to give something back to the United Kingdom I now call home.

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