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In Middleport, we wanted to take our issue of gang violence and create new opportunities for young people to be a part of a new gang...otherwise known as a band!  We believe that encouraging our young people to form music bands could change their pathway in life.

The 'Livewire' programme and related youth work in Herefordshire - a summary of the past year or so, and a look forward to what's coming up.

Community Melodies began in October 2015, with a selection of Year 9 and 10 students from three secondary schools in Birmingham. The project aims to educate and empower the students through learning about community music, as well as provide them with opportunities to build skills that can be directly applied in their future working lives. All of the schools have had regular training sessions from passionate community musicians, each with experience in working in healthcare settings, who work with the young people to develop their leadership, presentation and team-working skills. The project concludes with each school visiting the Paediatric Unit of Heartlands Hospital, where the students will lead their own interactive music workshop for the patients.

This project was set up by the Arts Department of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, with the financial assistance of Youth Music and the Eric W Vincent Trust. Community Melodies takes place in the East of Birmingham, a large and impoverished area. The schools involved are Waverley School, Bordesley Green Girls’ School and Hodge Hill College. Community Melodies sessions are run by three groups of facilitators from M&Em Music, Bridge Arts, and MF Community Music CIC.

Find out more at: www.artsandmusic.org, or follow the Arts Department of HEFT on Twitter (@heftartsdept)