One of the music industry’s favourite organisations is Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy. It’s the UK’s largest specialist music therapy charity, relying only on donations and a programme of fundraising activity. For the first time, it has launched a Christmas appeal to raise £100,000 for its project work.
Through its fundraising schemes and voluntary donations, it is able to deliver music therapy to help vulnerable people across the UK, and works hard to spread the idea that music can transform lives. Each year, Nordoff Robbins helps thousands of people suffering from autism, dementia, mental health problems, stroke, brain injury and depression. In some cases, its clients have a life-threatening or terminal illness, such as cancer.
Songwriters and performers from Annie Lennox and Status Quo, through to Muse and Alfie Boe, have all pledged support to the charity’s Christmas appeal, stating the importance of music therapy for people suffering from illness.
‘The work that Nordoff Robbins does, helping people through music, giving them hope, is really amazing. We have seen it for ourselves, music can have a huge impact on vulnerable children and adults,’ Status Quo said.
Established in 1948, it has grown to be the leading provider of live music across the healthcare sector, organising events across the country. In 2010, it hosted nearly 5,000 concerts across the UK, to the benefit of around 115,000 patients and residents. The charity is always on the hunt for talented musicians and performers who are willing to give their time too.
Meanwhile, Lewisham-based Heart n Soul is a creative charity that focuses on people with learning disabilities. For the past 25 years it has helped a broad range of artists to produce the highest quality art and music, assisting people with learning disabilities to enjoy full and creative lives.
It started out in 1986 working with a small core of local learning disabled musicians and performers to put on original musical theatre productions. From this seed, a creative movement was created.
The charity now hosts club nights for learning disabled teenagers and encourages its bands to perform on an international stage. It fosters a network of 50 clubs, harnesses digital channels and fosters a successful touring programme, reaching more than 30,000 people each year.
Youth Music concentrates on improving the lives disadvantaged children and young people through a range of music-making projects and activities around the country. Since 1999, it’s reached more than two million children and young people both in and out of school, with 92 percent of its projects addressing the behavioural needs of youngsters, specifically building respect, confidence and self esteem.
Hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks were first discovered by the Youth Music-funded AudioActive project in Brighton, and went on to perform on the Youth Music stage at Underage Festival over two consecutive years. They have since enjoyed chart success and have worked with the likes of N-Dubz and Gary Barlow.
‘Our involvement with Youth Music has helped us immensely. Their support has been invaluable and it’s safe to say we most definitely wouldn’t be in any sort of position in music without it,’ they said.
And, earlier this year, the charity received a MOBO award acknowledging its special contribution to grassroots, educational and community initiatives. Meanwhile, Youth Music’s director Christina Coker was given a Gold Badge award for her services to British music.
Given the wealth of charities out there that need your time or money, there’s an opportunity for everyone to help through the power of music and, in turn, receive help themselves in times of need.
For more information on the charities mentioned here, visit:
Music in Hospitals