Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

We would like to run a series of music workshops for those suffering with mental health problems. These workshops would lead to a concert performed in our local community in Bristol every month. This work would take place over a 12 month period with a concert a month - 12 concerts in total. The events will be attended by the general public as well as those with mental health difficulties.

Since running mind your music we have found people's levels of confidence and social skills have dramatically increased by participating in the groups activities. The really great thing about this is that increased confidence and social skills are valuable in all areas of life and essential for integrating into the wider community. In this way the benefits the people experience reach much further than just the sessions and concerts with us - they are skills that will help and enrich the rest of their lives outside of our activity. Some of our group members who were entrenched in the mental health services are now living independently in the community. Some members have even managed to successfully overcome their difficulties and are now in employment. They cite Mind Your Music a major factor in their recovery. This will be our most ambitious project to date and will bring meaning and purpose into peoples lives.

It is well documented that people with mental health difficulties benefit from having some structure in their lives. This is often difficult to achieve when people are isolated and unemployed. The vast majority that attend Mind your music live alone and are without employment. The workshops will give opportunity for people to have somewhere to be at a specific time for a specific purpose. We often hear from clients how this helps their lives stop feeling 'empty'. This feeling of 'emptiness and of little purpose' is often a key factor in depression and so by reducing this feeling we hope to reduce clients depressive symptoms. One of our group members is so isolated we are his only social contact in the week. We helped him work on his songs and form a little band to play at our events. We asked him what he wanted to call his band, he said 'hope'.

The effect of these events will be two fold - it will directly challenge stigma because it will show people with mental health difficulties in a positive light. It will also encourage community cohesion because those with mental illness will be mixing with the general public joining together in the celebration of music. For the mental health sufferers there will be a series of workshops and preparation which will give them the opportunity to make music in a safe, supportive environment with a goal to work towards. It will directly combat some of the isolation they feel and give them the chance to do something both enjoyable and proactive.

Music is the perfect tool to express emotions that are sometimes to painful to express in words or conversation, in this way participants in our project are able to experience the cathartic benefits of making music.

We have spoken to many of our group members suffering from mental health difficulties and they have expressed a real passion for this particular project. Being the leading mental health music group in the country we are well qualified and have all the expertise to delivery this challenging work. Mind your music runs music workshops four days a week in Bristol and has been delivering ground breaking work for over a decade.

The medical profession ranks active psychosis as the third most disabling condition ahead of blindness and paraplegia. This project will bring new hope to some of the most vulnerable and neglected members of our society. Recently a group member tapped our project leader on the shoulder as he was leaving 'I have something to tell you' he said, then he whispered 'this music is making me feel alive'

mind your music

Location: Bristol

I am proud of this organisation because of the difference it has made to vulernable people lives. We asked beneficiaries what the project meant to them:

'The difference between life and death to me'
'Mind your music gave me the courage to be myself'
'the best thing in my life apart from my cat
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