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Music to aid young carers
8:00pm Sunday 21st October 2012 in News
Young carers from across Wiltshire are benefiting musically after the charity Youth Music awarded a grant of £75,580.
Over the next 18 months, 144 young carers between the ages of seven and 18 will take part in a series of creative music projects, called Listen to Us 2, in partnership with Bath Philharmonia.
The projects will involve groups of young carers spending five days working with musicians, leading up to a live performance.
They aim to improve the social and personal development of participants, as well as musical skill.
Youngsters caring for a seriously ill or disabled family member may have difficulties at school due to their responsibilities.
Each course will be led by Bath Philharmonia’s director of music, Jason Thornton, who has led four similar projects in the Salisbury area.
He said: “We aim to give the young carers an aspirational element to their lives, which will put them at centre stage and let them have a voice. Music is a fantastic medium for doing that.
“Everyone is musical in some way and can express themselves through music.”
Many of those involved will have no previous musical experience but will be supported by the Wiltshire Young Carers Service, part of Youth Action Wiltshire, during the projects.
Niki Andrews, manager of the Young Carers Service, said: “Being a young carer often means missing out on extra- curricular activities and feeling anxious about future options.
“We know that the Listen to Us project not only inspires but also develops aspirations for the future. “ A 15-year-old young carer who took part in a similar project last year said: “This has been such an amazing experience. I used to be so shy but I got up and sang a solo. I would never have thought that I could do that.”
The first performance of Listen to Us 2 will be held at The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham, in March.