Avenues East hits a high note

29/07/2020

We know how important music is to many of the people we support at Avenues and musicians are frequent visitors to our services. Our Community Support Service in Avenues East regularly works with the music charity Musica, who provide workshops to people with disabilities and mental health issues, amongst others. In January 2020 Avenues was invited to participate in a showcase held by Musica in Ipswich to demonstrate their talents to the local community.

 According to Avenues Community Support Services Project Co-ordinator Nicola Fowler, the group of budding musicians, Avenues Daytime Activity Group, were delighted to have the opportunity to show people what they could do. "Following a kind donation of musical instruments from Roland music, Musica wanted to celebrate what it does best and show this to the community. We invited local schools and colleges, people who fund us, local councillors (including MP Tom Hunt) and other VIPs and people working in collaboration with other local disability groups." 

According to Nicola excitement had been building for weeks "We provided T-shirts for Avenues Daytime Activity group to decorate with musical notes. This also served the purpose on the day of being able to quickly identify Avenues people as they were all wearing purple t shirts!  

Nicola discovered Musica after the Daytime group had come to a bit of a standstill:

"The Daytime Activity Groups had got into a bit of a rut so the project co-ordinators were looking for new activities to get the young people more motivated.  After seeing a flyer advertising Musica the guys were invited in to the groups and the rest is history.  When I asked the other co-ordinators what they thought the benefits of Musica were for the guys that we support they all said ‘there are too many to list!"

Smiles on faces are an obvious reflection of the benefits that music workshops bring but there are so many others says Nicola "Many of our guys are very shy and some are non-verbal but they all get involved and perform with Musica.  Team building is achieved by working together thus building an individual’s confidence.  In addition mental wellness is increased because general anxiety and stress is reduced. Their moods are lifted and they connect with each other whilst expressing their emotions much more." 

Nicola is pleased to see the energising effect the sessions have on the people they support; "After a Musica session everybody is more relaxed but also more motivated and active like something has been stimulated in them."

The event has also had an impact locally says Nicola "We have now developed new relationships to promote our services with various people, from the local schools and colleges to Asda who will now provide our groups with refreshments when needed. We have also strengthened our relationship with local councillors". 

 

You can find out more about Musica and it's services at https://www.musica-workshops.com/ 

 

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