We're delighted to announce that we have received a fantastic £5760 of support for Kirklees kids from the Mayor's Fund, awarded by West Yorkshire's Mayor, Tracy Brabin.

The funding will provide much needed support for regular music making sessions for young people who have offended or are at risk of offending, and allow those already working with us to progress further.

Young people will make their own songs, tracks, and raps, supported by an expert Music Leader and their Youth Workers. They will explore different styles of music and learn how it affects mood and emotions, music and lyrics that promote negative life choices will be challenged and used as the basis for conversations around making more positive choices. The emphasis will be on making products (songs, raps, or tracks) that allow these young people freedom to express themselves (with our facilitator's guidance), which helps to regulate their feelings, improve more positive engagement with learning and feel a sense of achievement. We already know that this keeps these young people away from past, negative behaviour, which improves their chances going forwards.

The fund will also support young people to join mainstream music activities, to enable their integration into local, beneficial communities.

We have been working with one young person, 'D', since March. He is attending sessions on a weekly basis and has only missed two. In the past few weeks, he has been referred by the Virtual School to attend daily for 1.5hrs.

Our Music Leader, Dan (aka FarangDan) has been working with D on rhyming and the difference between nouns and adjectives.

Dan says:

D is finding his voice now and is getting really excited and comfortable singing into the microphone, as you can hear from this song I have attached!

We worked on singing in the key of a song, finding the melodies and scales, and harmonising.

Today was definitely a breakthrough for him. It adds a new thing into his locker he always wanted to try but was too scared to. Before he thought he could only do rapping and drill music, this shows otherwise!

D is finding his voice now... Today was definitely a breakthrough.

He also said to me today “I’ve learnt more with you than I do in school. I'd rather come here”, which was a wholesome moment (as it shows the impact we have on these young people...), but I had to explain to him the importance of both.

And here is feedback from D's social worker, Lynn Dransfield:

When I first met D he was spending time in his room listening to inappropriate music, and he wasn’t really engaging in any positive activities.

D was supported to access the music sessions, and this soon became a consistent, in his quite chaotic life. D has had several placement moves, and no matter where he has been placed, he has always attended the music sessions.

D has progressed and grown in confidence. He is now listening to a variety of more appropriate music and he is trying his hand at writing his own lyrics and singing. This is something I would never have imagined at the start of this journey.

[D's amazing progress] is something I would never have imagined at the start of this journey.