Youth Music today awarded grants to 27 organisations around the country providing a range of music-making opportunities for young people facing significant challenges in their lives. Projects supporting migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, young people with disabilities and those suffering from economic deprivation were among those receiving grants.
Youth Music currently supports over 350 music projects around the country every year, helping 75,000 vulnerable children and young people to transform their lives through music.
Last year, Youth Music restructured its grants programme, introducing ‘Fund A’ awards with grants of up to £30,000 available for smaller organisations or projects. The simplified application process for Fund A grants has made it easier for smaller organisations to apply for funding, diversifying Youth Music’s portfolio of music-making projects around the country. £2.5m has been awarded under Fund A so far this year, bringing Youth Music’s overall grants investment in 2015 to £8.4m.
The grant programme restructure has made a significant difference, with almost two thirds of the latest round of awards going to organisations not previously supported by Youth Music.
To further its aims of achieving a regional balance and ensure that music-making opportunities are available in areas of greatest need, the national charity is actively encouraging more applications from Yorkshire and East Midlands, areas that are currently under-represented in Youth Music’s portfolio.
Matt Griffiths, CEO, Youth Music said: “We’ve made it clear that our mission is to see music-making opportunities being made available to all young people regardless of background or circumstances. We’re putting great effort into ensuring that music-making ‘cold-spots’ get our support and investment, so that young people in these areas don’t miss out.”
Fund A work receiving investment today includes a Hertfordshire-based project for asylum seekers, refugees, young people from minority ethnic communities and those suffering economic deprivation; and a project supporting disadvantaged young people from migrant communities in Rochdale, run by the charity NESTAC.
Guy Bochar, CEO, NESTAC said of its ‘Hopes and Dreams’ project: “We would like to thank Youth Music for giving us a chance to contribute in making a difference with this opportunity to support migrant children and young people in Rochdale through music. Through the life of the project, they will be supported to achieve their ultimate goals of being listened to, understood and accepted, and being able to fulfil their hopes and dreams. This project will definitely contribute towards empowering children and young migrants as well as promoting positive cross-cultural understanding in the very diverse borough of Rochdale.”
Simon Wright, Youth Work Development Worker (County Arts) from Youth Connexions, Hertfordshire said: “We’re delighted that Youth Music is supporting our Bridges2beats project which will give vulnerable young people across Hertfordshire the chance to improve their mental wellbeing through high-quality music-making. Giving these young people a voice through live music events where they showcase music they have created will help them overcome feelings of exclusion and alienation, creating positive outcomes that stretch far beyond their musical development.
Youth Music is supported by Arts Council England, People’s Postcode Lottery and charitable donations.
Organisations wishing to apply for funding can find out more information at http://network.youthmusic.org.uk/funding