Community-based music charity in Bedford celebrates significant National Lottery funding

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Hundreds of people in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire are set to benefit after a unique community-based music charity, Music24, was awarded a potentially life-changing National Lottery grant of £285,000.

The National Lottery Community Fund award will enable the charity, soon to celebrate it's 10th anniversary, to push vital work forward over the next three years in order to benefit people living with disabilities and ill-health in the two counties.

Music24 has groups based in Bedford, Biggleswade, Leighton Buzzard and Luton, as well as Stevenage, Broxbourne, Watford and Welwyn/Hatfield.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Overjoyed to receive such a significant amount of funding, the charity, which supports more than 450 people with highly specialist participatory music sessions, is delighted to have secured not only the immediate future of the service currently in place, but also the opportunity to expand the services it offers.

Connection and creativity at Music24's Mind Our Music session in BedfordConnection and creativity at Music24's Mind Our Music session in Bedford
Connection and creativity at Music24's Mind Our Music session in Bedford

Teela Hughes, Music24’s CEO and Co-founder, said: "The National Lottery Funding means so much to us and comes at a crucial time for Music24, as a lot of charities are finding it really hard to make ends meet.

“This funding is vital to our survival and will ensure that we're here to support people for many years to come. Over the years we've filled in hundreds of funding applications forms but have mostly lived a very 'hand-to-mouth' existence.

“This award will truly help the charity to thrive and realise its full potential, with a goal to reach 800 people annually by the third year of funding."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Music24's Mind Our Music sessions for those living with mental health conditions, run every Friday afternoon in Bedford at St Cuthbert's Hall. In addition to this, the charity will be now be launching a Bedford Singing Cafe from January 2024 aimed at isolated and vulnerable people who want to find a moment of connection within the community, get out of the house and have some fun. People are welcome to drop-in and visit the Singing Cafe on Monday afternoons at Scott Hall from the 15th January. The National Lottery Community Fund will help to bring more developments to Bedford over the coming years, with talks to include a Neurotones Choir project, supporting people who have a communication difficulty following a Stroke, or diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or MS.

Anyone can have a go at Mind Our Music BedfordAnyone can have a go at Mind Our Music Bedford
Anyone can have a go at Mind Our Music Bedford

Graeme Davis, Lead Music Therapist & Co-founder added: “Music24 has offered regular, music-making opportunities to socially isolated and vulnerable people since April 2014.

“These are people who are affected by neurological illness or injury such as a stroke or Parkinson’s disease and those living with dementia, mental health conditions and learning disabilities.

“We facilitate our service users with activities that explore the world of sound in a safe and non-judgemental environment, assisted by our highly skilled team of Music Therapists and Community Musicians.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“To receive this funding from the National Lottery now gives us so much to celebrate as we approach our 10th anniversary.”

For anyone interested in finding out more about the work of Music24, including how to make a referral or become a volunteer, visit their website or follow them on social media: Instagram @music24_uk Facebook @Music24uk Twitter @music24_uk.