Young carers from across Somerset are to benefit from a £127,000 music-making grant to with the aim of improving their wellbeing.
The money will be used to deliver a programme of music making activities helping young carers from across the region discover their musical talent and improve their levels of self confidence.
The unique project aims to improve young carers’ wellbeing through music and will culminate in 14 performances across the South West.
Jason Thornton, music director at Bath Philharmonia, said the charity was delighted with the grant from Youth Music, which currently supports over 400 music projects around the country.
He added: “Being a young carer can be very isolating. This grant will give young carers a safe place to play together, using music as an outlet for their self-expression and to share their life experiences.
“What’s more, by training local music leaders, even more young carers will be able to fulfil their musical potential.”
Bath Philharmonia – the second largest professional orchestras in the South West – aims to make high quality orchestral music accessible to as many people as possible, and celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2020.
Working in partnership with local Music Education Hubs, Bath Philharmonia will train music leaders from Plymouth, Torbay, Poole, Somerset, and Bath & North East Somerset in delivering music-making activities to young carers.
News of the grant has also been welcomed by Bath & North East Somerset Council.
Councillor Kevin Guy, cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “This is fantastic news for young carers across Bath and North East Somerset.
“There are many young people under the age of 18 across Bath & North East Somerset who have a significant caring responsibility for someone in their family who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. For many young carers caring can have a significant and long term impact on their physical and mental health, and well being.
“Providing them with an opportunity to escape the pressures of daily life by making music can often be hugely beneficial. I really looking forward to hearing those who take part in the programme perform.”
Many of the young people supported by the national charity Youth Music face significant challenges in their lives.
These may arise from poverty, disability, illness or mental health issues and other life circumstances such as being a carer or refugee. Youth music supports 75,000 children and young people every year. Its fundraising campaign Give a Gig aims to help the charity reach out to those in need of help.