We are very grateful to The Keith Howard Foundation for their generous support which will allow us to double our delivery at Becton School and Sheffield Children’s Hospital, ensuring that (from this September) many more young people are able to benefit from our work.

The Becton Centre runs sessions for young people that involve classroom delivery, engaging small groups who predominantly struggle with eating disorders and issues resulting in self-harm. Our musical sessions fit neatly into Becton's yearly delivery, and are based around improvisation, encouraging participants to engage with different kinds of music, instruments and each other at their own level, without the pressure of getting anything “wrong”. Our facilitator, Chris Morris, delivers with a minimum of discussion, offering a safe environment that doesn’t rely on conversation to be highly communicative, quickly adapting to the young people’s psychological needs. The sessions encourage participants to engage in educational settings who would otherwise not, and we have seen development in confidence, self-expression and relationships with both staff and peers.

Chapel House, a small school for under 16’s who are severely challenged by mainstream education environments, has also agreed to continue sessions. Music is offered as an 'intervention activity', designed to support young people in working on issues keeping them away from mainstream education, including social anxiety, communication issues, learning difficulties and vulnerability. The music sessions allow them to control and have agency in their own musical experience, exploring sounds, methods, collaboration, working in small teams and communication. Several participants will only come to school to take part in our music sessions. Chapel House hope to build on this positive outcome to encourage further engagement with wider school activities and staff.

Sheffield Children’s Hospital also wish for us to deliver small group and 1:1 sessions in rooms of children too ill or vulnerable to do otherwise.  Activities range from learning and singing songs, playing instruments, DJing, and making beats. Participants look forward to our visits, and staff, parents/carers report back very positively on the well-being resulting from these sessions.

We are delighted that our work in these centres can continue and grow, with the primary aim of helping as many young people as we can. Because, as our strapline says: Music Makes Lives Better!