Soundabout in 2018

As the Soundabout office is now closing until the 4th January, we wanted to take the opportunity to say a big thank you all of our friends and supporters for being part of our work this year, and to highlight some of the great things that happened in 2019, as we continued in our mission to enable people with severe or profound learning disabilities to communicate through music.

Our new CEO Clare Cook came on board in April, bringing with her a wealth of experience and energy to drive the work of the charity forward. We now have the stability, vision and strategic plan to enable many more children, young people and adults with learning disabilities to access and enjoy making music, and thereby develop their communication skills, confidence and ability to connect with the world around them.

We concluded our three-year project funded by Youth Music, “Sounds of Intent in the Early Years” which demonstrated the benefits of music for the development of young children with multiple and profound disabilities and underlined the vital importance of Soundabout’s work. This project was run in conjunction with our partners at the University of Roehampton

A group of Soundabout’s amazing families shared their stories as part of an online video campaign to raise awareness of our work. You can watch these heartwarming videos here.

With the support of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, we created a new partnership with the Music8London network of music hubs, involving the creation of a new SEND network, led by Soundabout Coordinator Jenny Cooper. The network will officially launch in January 2019. This project has been part of our wider work developing partnership with music education hubs across the country, building networks to share best practice and develop opportunities for inclusive music-making provision across the education sector.

On BBC Music Day we brought together an inclusive pop-up choir of Soundabout participants and members of the Jericho Singers to take part in a jamming session on Didcot Parkway Station. This joyful event was covered by BBC Oxford Radio, BBC South Today and BBC Online, and has inspired us to run a regular pop-up inclusive choir on a monthly basis in Oxford, launching next year.

Our annual ‘Soundabout Tea Party’ which is generously run by Trustee John Hall and his wife Sarah, was the most successful yet, raising over £3,000 for the charity on one of the sunniest days of the year. With thanks to the wonderful Derek Paravicini for performing at the event.

Soundabout was chosen by two schools to benefit from their fundraising across the year – a big thank you to Christchurch Cathedral School in Oxford, and Queen Anne’s Caversham for your support.

Most importantly, our incredible team of music practitioners delivered hundreds of training and community music-making sessions across the country, using music to unlock the potential of children, young people and adults with complex needs, and empowering parents, carers and education professionals to do the same.

What a year! 2019 is shaping up to be even bigger and brighter, with an extended team of music practitioners, and ‘Team Soundabout’ taking on the Bleinham Triathlon.

We hope that we can rely on your support next year, and wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.