Funding has been awarded for a programme of free music-making activities, which aims to improve the lives of care-experienced children and young people in Darlington.
North East-based charity Blue Cabin specialises in using trauma-informed creative activities, led by professional artists, to improve outcomes for children and young people who are in care.
A grant of £30,000 has been awarded by Youth Music, £1,500 from Creative Darlington and £1,500 from Darlington Borough Council, enabling Blue Cabin to deliver a programme of music, called This is the Place, for children and young people aged 0 to 17 and the adults in their lives, in partnership with staff at Darlington Borough Council’s Fostering and Supported Lodgings team.
Jenny Young, Director of Blue Cabin, explained: “This is the Place will include singing, play, movement and the opportunity to use a variety of musical instruments, with guidance and support from our wonderful team of Associate Artists, who have extensive experience of working with care-experienced families. We know that giving care-experienced children and young people the opportunity to take part in music and creativity, with the adults in their lives, can help them to build stronger relationships. This has been shown to be really important when it comes to improving care-experienced children’s lives at home and at school.”
“This approach is grounded in years of learning stemming from the Loud and Clear team at Sage Gateshead who are celebrating 10 years of music-making with care-experienced families this year. We can’t wait to share learning from this project with the Loud and Clear team and partners regionally and nationally.”
Sessions will include small group workshops tailored for children aged 0 to 5 years and their carers, and events held at various cultural venues in Darlington, giving care-experienced families the opportunity to experience the town’s cultural offer together, perhaps for the first time.
And the programme will include training for foster carers and Darlington Borough Council staff, allowing them to continue music-making with children at home and during their daily lives.
Children will be given a song bag and song book which they can take with them if they transition to a new home.
Councillor Jon Clarke, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for children and young people said: “We are delighted to receive this funding to enable us to help support more families in our town and villages. Music helps evoke creativity, positivity and happiness which will help our families, some who are newly formed, develop and improve trusting relationships. I look forward to joining in the fun and experiencing the good times!”
Matt Griffiths, Youth Music CEO said: “It’s crucial we enable more young people to make, learn and earn in music, whatever their background or goal. That’s why we’re excited to invest in progressive organisations like Blue Cabin, who lead the way with their innovative approach and dedication to diversifying music.”
This is the Place will begin in October 2022. More information is available here.