Prime Minister Theresa May has given Helen Ashley Taylor the Points of Light Award for her work bringing live, therapeutic music into ICUs in Manchester and beyond through the ICU Hear Project, run by Music In Hospitals.
Helen Ashley Taylor is the driving force behind the ‘ICU Hear’ project pioneered in Manchester Royal Infirmary. During a difficult time in ICU herself, Helen recollected a moment of respite when she briefly heard singing from a TV. With this in mind, and realising that others reported a similar experience, Helen approached Music In Hospitals (where she had previously volunteered for years) and set up ICU Hear, which recruits musicians to play for ICU patients, having received their consent. After a successful pilot Helen has now teamed up with a team of consultants who are researching the positive impact music can have on patients’ physical health and plans to roll out the ICU-Hear project across every intensive care unit in the UK that is interested.
Helen is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
In a personal letter to Helen, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“You are harnessing the extraordinary power of music to support patients and their families during their time in intensive care. You should be enormously proud of the ‘ICU Hear’ project you have set up with ‘Music In Hospitals’.”
“It is an honour to receive this volunteering award and I accept it on behalf of every single person who has given time to this project. It is also recognition for the Intensive Care Unit staff at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Stepping Hill hospitals who have gone above and beyond their duties to enable this project to happen, the staff at the charity Music in Hospitals as well as the charity’s large team of volunteers, the funders who have supported the project and the superb professional musicians who have performed so sensitively and empathetically to critically ill patients and their families – bringing moments of calm and relief at some of the most difficult and distressing times in people’s lives.
“It is the wide level of co-operation on this project that has been truly inspiring. The collaboration of former patient input, NHS nursing staff, the charity Music in Hospitals, volunteers and musicians has proved to be a winning combination enabling the intensive care unit experience to be transformed. A small idea quickly became a much larger vision that has attracted interest from all over the world. Thank you to everyone in this team who has made the vision a reality.”
Lord Mayor’s Show and Appeal
After a wait of only 800 years, Music in Hospitals joined the procession that is The Lord Mayor’s Show. Together with about 7,000 other participants, and about two thirds along the 3 mile procession of floats and marching bands, the team from the Walton on Thames office joined the throng on Saturday. After an early start just to put the final touches to the banners, balloons and bunting, and a couple of sound checks to ensure our musicians would be heard above the cheering crowds, we were ready to go at 10.30 am.
It was a wonderful experience for us all and I hope we were able to spread the word about the brilliant work the charity does in improving the health and well being of those adults and children in healthcare with our live music performances.
We are privileged to be one of the beneficiary charities that will receive some of the proceeds of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. The Appeal will run throughout the Mayoralty of Dr Andrew Parmley to whom we owe a great deal of thanks for including us in the Appeal which will help us to sustain our programme of live music in hospitals, care homes and special schools in Greater London.
We are delighted that the fantastic ‘Shagpile’, Jason Vare, has released a charity single ‘These Boots’ with all proceeds coming directly to Music in Hospitals!
The single is available now worldwide through all major distributers including iTunes, CDBaby and Amazon.
Jason has already raised over £550 via his JustGiving Page. We are incredibly grateful to Jason, and to everyone that has donated so far, please keep supporting him!
Donation from Concert Artistes International
Music in Hospitals Chief Executive, Steve Rowland-Jones, receives a cheque from virtuoso violinist Don Leonardo, founder of the charity Concert Artistes International.
Teen band raises over £500 for Music in Hospitals
When some of London’s most promising music students went on a trip to New Orleans in 2012, they at once fell in love with the city’s music and vowed to start their own band when they returned; and so Blue Mondays was formed. With an average age of 18, the band is formed of nine musicians all studying at Hinchley Wood School and specialise in taking well known big band numbers and re-arranging them down to a nine piece format, as well as putting a swing feel into a range of Pop and Soul standards.
Unfortunately, with the end of A-Levels in sight, the band has decided to part as various members will be heading for university or are off on a gap year. However, to end on a high, the band held their final gig at Hinchley Wood School on Friday 15th April. The main hall was packed to standing room only and had the ambience of an established jazz club, with the audience up and dancing by the end of the night. The band chose to donate all proceeds from the concert to Music in Hospitals.
“The concert was a huge success and they’ve raised over £500 for Music in Hospitals which is an amazing achievement. All the students are superb musicians and we hope the band will reform at some time in the future”. Amy Roberton – Music in Hospitals.
‘Music in Hospitals on ITV’
ITV Anglia brought a film crew to one of our concerts at Holbeach Hospital to enjoy the wonderful music of pianist Lincoln Noel.
To see their full story about Music in Hospitals, please click here
‘Heroes in Harmony’
The Aged Veterans’ Fund, funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds, has made a grant of £402,400 to Music in Hospitals for the provision of 1,200 live music sessions in care homes for ex-service men and women.
The live music programme will start at the beginning of April and last for a year, touching every part of the UK. There are over 50 care homes and sheltered housing schemes specifically for ex-service men and women and many others which include members of the ex-service community amongst their residents.
With increasing focus on how we can better support the older members of our community, this important initiative will help to improve the health and wellbeing of a significant number of them. In the coming months Music in Hospitals’ professional musicians will be seen across the country bringing the therapeutic benefits of live music to so many deserving members of the ex-service community in the Heroes in Harmony project.
Primary Contact: Steve Rowland-Jones Tel: Day time 01932 260810 Out of hours 07891 484508 Email: email@example.com
‘Testimonial Concert’ raises £850 for Music in Hospitals
Dionne Bennett from ‘The Earth’ and Robert Aitken, Director of MiH Wales, at RWCMD.
Some of the biggest names from alternative Welsh music came together for a ‘Testimonial Concert’ at Neuadd Ogwen to celebrate the contribution of Alan (Maffia Mr Huws), Barry (Y Cyrff) , Johnny (Fflaps) and Bern (Elfyn Presli) to the Welsh music scene.
The concert was held at the end of last year, and all profits from the concert were donated to Music in Hospitals. Dionne Bennett from The Earth – the headline act for the concert – recently visited the Music in Hospitals Wales office to present the charity with a cheque for £850.
Robert Aitken, Director of Music in Hospitals in Wales, commented: “A lot of groups call us up with the offer of a fundraising gig, but it’s not often we get one quite like this. A representative from our charity attended the evening and said the atmosphere was electric. We’re so grateful for the support of these artists.”
Other acts completing the line up included: Radio Rhydd; Fiona & Gorwel Owen (Eirin Peryglus / Plant Bach Ofnus); Henry Priestman (The Yatchts / The Christians); Dic Ben and Gethin Jones from Elfyn Presli; Neil Crud and Alan Matthews (4Q); Ann Matthews & Alan Holmes (Fflaps) and Maffia Mr Huws.
Rhys Mwyn from Anhrefn, one of the organisers of the event, commented: “The charity was chosen by the families of the four musicians being celebrated and it made perfect sense that we should be donating to a charity involved with music.”
The money raised from the concert will be used to organise more live music concerts for care settings in Wales. The organisers hope to arrange another fundraising event in South Wales in 2016.
Music in Hospitals reaches final of The People’s Projects Competition
Music in Hospitals’ project Music in Care Homes has reached the final five of The People’s Projects Competition in Wales.
The People’s Projects Competition is organised by the Big Lottery Fund and ITV. 95 projects have been shortlisted into regional finals, and Music in Hospitals’ project is one of five that has been shortlisted in Wales. A two week public vote will decide who gets the top prize of up to £50,000 in each region.
From 9am on Monday 29th February, members of the public can vote online or by post for their preferred project in each region. Voting will remain open until midday on Sunday 13th March.
The prize money would allow Music in Hospitals to organise 150 free live music concerts for care homes in Wales.
A short film about the Music in Care Homes project has been filmed at Bryn Ivor Lodge in Castleford near Newport. It will be broadcast on the ITV Wales early evening news between 6pm and 6.30pm on Friday 4th March, but will also be available to view on the website as soon as voting opens on Monday 29th February.
Robert Aitken, Director of Music in Hospitals Wales, commented: “Our Music in Care Homes project brings the concert hall into the care home. It’s too easy to take for granted the ability to go out and see a show in a theatre, or watch a gig in a pub. We bring that fun, live music experience to the residents of care homes in Wales, so they can sing along and even have a dance if they want. Winning the public vote means we could organise another 150 concerts for care homes across Wales, and reach literally thousands more people.”
Voting for Music in Care Homes is free. You can vote online or by post during the voting period.
Please remember you can only vote once per email address. You can vote from anywhere in the UK.
Vote for Music in Care Homes by post
To vote by post please send a postcard to:
Freepost THE PEOPLE’S PROJECTS
Please include the following details: name, address and telephone number of the voter and the name of the project they are voting for.
Please remember you can only vote once per person per region.
Follow our campaign on twitter using the hashtags #VotingForMusic and #PeoplesProjects
Donation from Simplyhealth
Music in Hospitals Chief Executive, Steve Rowland Jones, receiving a cheque for £99,910 from Mark Hamson, Chairman of Charitable Committee at Simplyhealth
Simplyhealth have continued their fantastic support of MiH with an amazing donation of £99,910.00, which will provide more than 300 special MiH concerts for sick and vulnerable people across England and Wales.
Donation from Greenwich Hospital
Music in Hospitals Chief Executive Steve Rowland-Jones with John Gamp from Greenwich Hospital
Greenwich Hospital has agreed a grant of £14,500 to support us in our endeavour to provide live music to veterans.
We will be arranging regular live entertainment at Pembroke House, a care home owned and managed by the RNBT, and The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, a purpose-built residence for retired seafarers.
Other pilot concerts will also take place in facilities where Royal Navy veterans live.
Steve said: “Live music can have an enormous impact, particularly on older people in care. We are hugely grateful to Greenwich Hospital for this generous contribution which will allow us to bring our music to the veteran community”.
‘Together Through Music’ launches
Music in Hospitals staff Nia Ann Thomas (back left), Rose Widlake (front centre) and artist Heather Jones (back right) with Cartref Care Home residents Vivienne Gooch, Ada Louise Honey and Gwennie Brooke (L-R)
Care home residents all over Wales and Northern England will be getting a musical treat this Christmas – free music concerts in their living room.
The charity Music in Hospitals has received funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery to deliver 328 free live music concerts to care homes in Wales and Northern England over the next nine months.
The project is called Together through Music, and has launched just in time for Christmas. Thirty three concerts are already booked for December, and the project will run until August of next year. An estimated 8,200 care home residents will get to enjoy a free concert over the course of the project period.
Robert Aitken, Director of Music in Hospitals in Wales, commented: “We’ve been taking live music into care settings since 1948, but this is the first time we’ve received funding to deliver a project on this scale in Wales and Northern England.
“We’ve got performers who cater for every musical taste – opera, jazz, swing, pop, rock and roll – and no care home is impossible to arrange a concert in.”
Music in Hospitals is a charity that organises high quality live music concerts for sick, disabled, terminally ill and elderly people, to improve their quality of life. They began in 1948 by organising classical music concerts for injured war veterans, and now organise over 4,500 concerts a year in hospitals, hospices, care homes, special schools and day care centres all over the UK. They continuously fundraise to provide as many concerts as possible for free.
Robert Aitken continues: “A lot of care homes are already doing great work organising activities for residents, but in an increasingly difficult financial climate activity budgets are bring stretched to their limits. We hope these free concerts will help.
“Our concerts are simply designed to make our audiences feel happy. Using live music our artists can turn the dayroom of a care home into the set of Singin’ in the Rain or the stage for Madam Butterfly.“
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “This funding is not only music to the ears of this deserving charity, but also the many care home residents across Wales and Northern England who will be treated to a live concert. It’s incredible that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting such worthwhile projects like this.”
To find out more about booking a free live music concert for a care home in Wales or Northern England, please contact:
Nia Ann Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org / 02920 391415
Jess Ingham: email@example.com / 0161 907 5387
Postcode Community Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Our project received £100,000 from the Trust to deliver our ‘Together through Music’ project.
Music and Safety
Six care homes in West Wales will receive a free Music in Hospitals concert over the next three days, thanks to sponsorship from electricity distribution company Western Power Distribution (WPD).
In a series of concerts being held this week, groups of older people will be enjoying live music performances aimed at benefiting their health and well-being. The concerts have also received support from Arts and Business Cymru through its CultureStep programme.
The project – entitled Music and Safety – will not only help increase access to high quality musical performances, but also be providing valuable information to the elderly about how to keep warm and well in the event of a power cut.
Robert Aitken CBE, Director of Music in Hospitals Wales, commented: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with WPD. We wanted to give elderly care home residents in West Wales the chance to listen to something a bit different, and at no cost.”
WPD’s Karen Welch explained: “Sometimes power cuts can happen for reasons beyond our control, and we know it can be particularly worrying if you rely on electricity for medical equipment or if you are elderly or disabled. Our Priority Service Register can give customers with specific needs a little extra help when needed.”
Freemasons’ support ‘Music Matters’ project
We are thrilled to have been awarded a grant of £21,000.00 from the Freemasons of Surrey on behalf of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to support our ‘Music Matters’ project , which will see nearly 2,000 older people in care across England and Wales benefitting from a programme of live music concerts this year.
The Provincial Grand Master for Surrey, Eric Stuart-Bamford said: “The MiH team and its musicians do an incredible job of supporting a great many vulnerable people in care. The situation they face can often feel very isolating and stressful and music is a powerful force that can help to counter these feelings. The MiH concerts also provide a fantastic opportunity for patients to socialise and I am so pleased that Freemasons are able to support such a great project that will help so many people.”