Grant like music to ears of 'lifeline' charity

Picture of musicians giving a garden recital

A special garden recital - Credit: Submitted

Local charity YES Brixham is celebrating a £37,000 lotto boost. 

The £37,140 comes from Health Lottery South West and is distributed by People’s Health Trust.  

It has been allocated to a two-year project called MusicAtTheEdge. 

MusicAtTheEdge aims to tackle loneliness, isolation and to ensure the participants’ overall wellbeing is looked after.  

Made up of mixed ages and demographics, the group has used the funding in the past to invest in a range of music equipment. 

The group is incredibly diverse with people with a host of different skillsets and abilities. Group co-ordinator Tom says: “We’ve had occasions where members in their 80s with 50 years of music experience are playing alongside members who are non-verbal but are at their happiest playing along with a tambourine.” 

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced them to change their approach to engaging with their members. Undeterred, the group have set up a weekly live online session where members can meet up, have a chat about how things have been that week before coming together and making music. As part of this work, the group also set about hosting a festival aimed at bettering the mental health of fishermen in the local community. 

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However, for Tom the highlight of his time spent working with the group is seeing members progress mentally the longer they participate. 

He says “Jane joined our group after relocating to Brixham. With no friends or family living locally Jane described the project as a lifeline which helped her meet new people and share her passion for singing. MusicAtTheEdge has been like joining one big family, everyone is so friendly. Covid has affected us all in different ways and I’m so glad we have been able to meet online, keep active and stay together!’ 

Managing Director of the Health Lottery, Martin Ellice, said: “MusicAtTheEdge is an excellent example of a project rooted in its local community with a clear focus on ensure its members are not isolated during a very difficult time. We couldn’t be prouder to support them in everything they do.”