In February 2019, Spirit awarded £39,949 to More Music to pilot two Music For Health projects in Morecambe: Seagull Café and Chameleons Singing for Health. Now, Spirit are delighted to award £130,000 to extend the impact of More Music’s Music for Health for a further two years.

Working in partnership with the Bay Medical Group (BMG), Music for Health brings people at risk of isolation together in a safe, creative, and fun environment.

To date, Seagull Café has welcomed large groups of over-60s to come together for tea, cake, chats, and sing-alongs with professional musicians. The project aims to improve community health and wellbeing through engagement with community singing and conversation.

Chameleons Singing for Health offers singing and song-writing sessions to young people with diagnosed mental health conditions, run by experienced musicians and supported by a youth social worker from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Many participants are referred by their GP through the Bay Medical Group and CAMHS. These collaborative partnerships have produced learnings around social prescribing models and impact, an outcome that will continue to be developed through this extended impact award. These partnerships between arts organisations and health bodies strengthen the impact of sessions, and ensure that people who face significant barriers to engagement are supported to attend.

“Coming to Seagull Café makes a big difference to our lives, from feeling isolated and uneasy we look forward to Tuesdays and come away feeling more positive.”  Seagull Café Participant

“This project has made a major difference to my Dad’s life. He is more confident in social situations, loves the singing and is still singing the songs throughout the week at home.” – Family of a Seagull Café Participant

In the coming two years, More Music will continue to develop the Seagull Café for over-60s and the Chameleons Singing for Health through weekly sessions. A new group will also be set up at West End Impact; working with vulnerable service users who have faced multiple challenges including homelessness, addiction and isolation. These sessions will focus on singing, drumming and song-writing.

During the Coronavirus Crisis and lockdown, More Music have continued to engage with project participants through socially distanced live performances and through writing and recording songs for sing-alongs at home. This funding was awarded before the outbreak of Covid-19, and in line with government guidance, the start date for its next phase will prioritise the safety of its participants and staff.

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