Music-making programme for care-experienced babies and children to expand to Redcar & Cleveland

Even more care-experienced babies and children will experience the benefits of music-making, as Blue Cabin’s This is the Place programme receives funding to expand its reach.

This is the Place harnesses the power of music-making to help babies and children form attachments and build relationships with their carers.

Thanks to additional funding from Youth Music and County Durham Community Foundation, the programme will now be rolled out in Redcar & Cleveland, following a successful first year in Darlington.

Jenny Young, Director of Blue Cabin, explains: “In 2023 we delivered a programme of music-making for babies, children and their foster carers in Darlington, funded by Youth Music, Darlington Borough Council and Creative Darlington and hosted at Theatre Hulaballoo.

“We’ve seen the significant benefits this has had on even the youngest babies and now we’re able to expand the programme to include babies and children across Redcar & Cleveland as well.”

Youth Music’s Catalyser Fund has awarded a grant of £150,000 to support This is the Place. The fund aims to make music more inclusive so everyone can access it and supports children and young people who face barriers to make, learn or earn in music. Match funding from both Darlington Borough Council, Redcar & Cleveland Council and Creative Darlington helped to leverage this funding.

County Durham Community Foundation, which manages more than 200 charitable funds and awards millions in grants each year, has awarded £6,000 to support the programme in 2024.

“Both Youth Music and County Durham Community Foundation help charities and communities achieve incredible things and we’re over the moon to be one of the charities whose work they’re supporting,” said Jenny Young. “We’re also grateful to the investment that Darlington Borough Council, Creative Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council are making and their belief in the difference this programme can make to the lives of babies, children and young people.”

So far, This is the Place has resulted in every baby and child aged five years or younger, who is in care in Darlington, being given a pack of free music-making resources to help them form an attachment with their foster carers. Over the next three years this process will be continue in Darlington and will be rolled out for babies and children aged five or under from Redcar & Cleveland too.

It has also included small group workshops (led by musicians Carol Bowden and Katie Doherty) tailored for children aged 0 to five years and their carers, early years music training for foster carers and council staff and the creation of a set of free, early years music-making resources which are available on Blue Cabin’s website.

Find out more about Blue Cabin’s music-making programme, and access the free early years music-making resources, here.