“At Northam Lodge, the people who use our services (our ‘clients’) all have learning disabilities and most also have physical disabilities as well. In the past, clients were in the audience – they’d sit and listen. But we wanted them to take part, to be creative and engaged. We gained a grant from Arts Council England to do a year long project with this in mind.
The project has been brilliant; it has made a massive difference and we’ve had great feedback. We’ve seen such a change in people because they can now take part in music, it is inclusive. It’s just wonderful, seeing their confidence grow. And it has also increased the confidence of staff, to know that they are able to help our clients to make music.” Carron Holmes, Music Project Manager
“What Wren have brought to the project is their musical expertise. They have helped us to deliver a structured programme which has enabled people to develop skills, and this can often be difficult because of their cognitive abilities. Because of the professional training they are getting from Wren, Northam Lodge staff are able to deliver music sessions that are moving people forward; more people are developing skills and confidence. For example, more people are learning to play the guitar or keyboard, so they are working towards something and achieving an outcome. It has been hugely successful.
The groups have been really vibrant, consistently well-attended and with an enormous amount of energy. Because of Wren coming in, staff are then able to give lessons and clients are more keen to give it a go. This project fits in completely with an exciting, person-centred service. I’ve seen this energy, you can feel and hear it, and it’s made us think about how we deliver our services.” Charlie Dixon, Northam Lodge Chief Executive
Although our initial Arts Council England funding has now finished, the project was so popular that our weekly sessions have continued. On Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings, Northam Lodge host music therapy groups at the Rose Hill Centre in Bideford. Sessions are open to anyone with a learning disability and we are able to use and adapt instruments and technology to include everyone regardless of their physical disability. We can also provide carers if required. Please contact Sue Morley on 01237 477238 for details of price.