by Author Jeany Robinson

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Plymouth Music Zone awarded major grant from Youth Music to support young people during traumatic times

Plymouth Music Zone has secured around £135,000 to further develop its pioneering work supporting some of the city’s most vulnerable children and families during their most challenging times. The funding comes from The National Foundation for Youth Music and allows Devonport based Plymouth Music Zone to extend its partnership work with education, health and social care organisations to deliver special “musical respite” activities that support the emotional wellbeing of young people and their families. 


The new two-year “Breakthrough Music” programme will provide a wide range of musical and social experiences for children experiencing highly traumatic circumstances.  These include children and young people in safe houses who’ve experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence and those in psychiatric units experiencing severe mental health issues as well as many others who need extra support to move through especially difficult times of change.

Youth Music’s CEO, Matt Griffiths, says:

“We’re delighted to be funding Plymouth Music Zone’s Breakthrough Music programme, which will support children and young people facing really tough challenges in their lives. We know that music-making has huge personal and social benefits, especially for those young people who might otherwise miss out. This project will strengthen the local music education workforce and create exciting opportunities for young people to regularly make music and fulfil their potential.”

The ‘Breakthrough Music’ programme has already begun and will involve Plymouth Music Zone working with many other organisations across the city who support young people through difficult transitions. These include organisations working in the area of sexual violence and abuse such as Plymouth Domestic Refuge, Simply Counselling and First Light. It also involves working with those whose focus is improving the mental health of young people including Plym Bridge Adolescent Psychiatric Unit and organisations like adoption charity, Families for Children, who use music to support children to build strong relationships with new families.

PMZ’s Executive Director, Debbie Geraghty, says:

“These organisations we’re working with are doing some of the most vital work with young people and families in this city. They’ve also helped us show how music can be a powerful tool within this bigger picture. The value of this kind of work is increasingly attracting attention nationally as it shows what’s really possible using music in these community contexts to support others. This funding will also enable us to develop our skills further and share more of the learning in these areas. We also hope to challenge ourselves to become an international centre of excellence for Community Music and Wellbeing so we can support even more young people”.

The Breakthrough Music programme activities will be promoted on Plymouth Music Zone’s website and Facebook page as well as through flyers and posters around the city.  To find out more about the project and the additional workforce development opportunities available, please contact Plymouth Music Zone on 01752 213690.​