For our latest guest feature, Joe Hastings, head of health and welfare for Help Musicians, gave us some insight into the vital work the charity does.
‘Help Musicians provides help, support and opportunities to empower musicians at all stages of their lives and careers, in times of crisis and opportunity, offering a lifetime of support when it’s needed most. We do this through an integrated programme offering person centred support for musicians as well as developing more preventative interventions to improve wellbeing.
‘Our programme is designed to support musicians’ creativity, health & welfare and business needs. This balanced approach is unique and vital in providing, help and support to musicians at all stages of their lives.
‘We work closely with like-minded organisations across the music industry, the healthcare sector and beyond and we broaden our base of support for musicians through building relationships and collaborations. For example, we’re currently working with the British Tinnitus Association on research to determine the impact of tinnitus on professional musicians and how best to support those living with the condition.
Our insights show that musicians face a myriad of challenges and difficulties working in the music industry, which can really impact on wellbeing. Working unsociable hours, social isolation, financial worries and the potential for difficulties in physical health can all contribute to complications.
‘Touring can be challenging in terms of wellbeing, so our Do It Differently fund includes a healthy touring package designed to help music creators prepare for going on tour and managing their wellbeing on the road.
‘The challenges musicians face can impact on other areas of their lives often creating unstable and unbalanced situations. Our support is designed to help find stability and promote wellbeing. Anecdotally, musicians have told us how they try to take regular exercise, do yoga or practice mindfulness and mediation as well as having interests outside of music. Staying in touch with family and friends, getting enough sleep and having a healthy diet can make a real difference to wellbeing too. It’s worth noting that musicians have overwhelmingly told us that see their engagement with music as very positive.
‘Help Musicians support is designed to look at the breadth of a musicians’ experiences, challenges and needs. This can be through a grant to support a musician through health or welfare difficulties, or their creative activity. We also provide preventative interventions like our Musicians Hearing Health Scheme and our listening ear support service, Music Minds Matter.
‘We can do more by working together. Help Musicians are committed to working with partners to explore in depth the benefits of promoting wellbeing to musicians, which is why we’ll be highlighting how we approach wellbeing across our Programme of work as a key theme this year. It also allows the charity and its partners to also look at the positive aspects of being a musician as well as the challenges. This year we’ll continue to work build our collaborative work and develop more preventative support, share resources and insights from our research with the aim of influencing and improving working conditions, sustaining careers and creating positive change for musicians’ wellbeing.’
For more information visit www.helpmusicians.org.uk
To support Help Musicians email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0207 239 9100 or donate just £3 today by texting MUSIC1 to 70331.