The Bromley Trust has kindly offered funding to Yorkshire Youth and Music for our Little Song Stars project, which contributes to better future life chances for babies and young children (along with their mums, in secure settings), renewed determination from mothers to not re-offend and the renewed motivation of these mothers (often young themselves) to identify educational and social goals for themselves and their families.
The Bromley Trust

The project looks at developing and improving mother and baby relationships, and provides ways for mothers to maintain a connection with children who are cared for elsewhere. Our work in this area is needed, with our pilot programme demonstrating improved mother and baby relationships and bonding (within the secure estate), improved well-being and self-confidence in vulnerable mothers, and a recognition by mums themselves of these improvements. It contributes to positive parenting skills and creates shared memories between mother and baby through joyful, educational and gentle songs. When babies leave the secure estate, shared songs and lullabies help maintain a mother/baby connection, contributing to family stability. In our successful pilot, mothers reported a determination to ensure their babies continue to enjoy music and to continue music-making when they return to their community.

This is a project in a very small part of the secure estate. Our pilot demonstrated the benefit and need for the project, and was led by a Social Worker with many years of experience in family work, in addition to her music skills. Prison Estate Managers support the ongoing need for a project like this, identifying babies’ development, mothers’ motivation and confidence and better family bonding as clear benefits of the activity.

Our work is needed more than ever as more and more children and young people are finding themselves in challenging circumstances with fewer resources available to support them.