From our studio spaces in Trafford, Manchester, our fundamental aim is to work with local people to create positive community impact in the following ways:
• Using music to enable social activities we provide opportunities for inclusion and engagement to combat isolation;
• Through formal referrals, social prescription and self-referral, we compliment other support that individuals receive with their emotional and mental wellbeing;
• Thirdly, our industry partnerships provide learning, employment opportunities and professional practice development within the music industry.
Seed was established as a community group in 2008 to satisfy the need for more artistic and community driven support for local people. Maintained through committed volunteers and yearly projects we registered as a charity in 2017 with an intention to grow the group and create a more defined and mature community offer. In 2018 we directly benefited more than 110 individuals through around 500 hours of volunteer time, but to do this better and offer even more we need to provide more robust operational support for the volunteers as well as increase and diversify our income streams.
Through our partnership with blueSCI Support CIC we run fully-functioning music studio spaces designed to allow for delivery of our ongoing music activities which include:
• individual use of the free music resources;
• peer to peer support for emotional, social and musical skills development;
• group workshops including drum / guitar groups, or the multi-instrument ‘Sound Explorers’;
• arts projects with professional artists collaborating to create an event or recording;
• performance opportunities including community open mic nights and larger concerts.
Our work is primarily delivered by a core group of 26 volunteers, many of whom have been beneficiaries of the organisation themselves. This includes a volunteer Trustee Board of 6 local people and external professionals offering both managerial oversight and support for delivering activities.
These activities involve a diverse range of local people from different ethnic and religious groups, some with a range of challenges including learning disabilities and autism, and varying levels of wellbeing and mental health. They bring a range of music knowledge and skills as new musicians, self-taught creatives and formally educated artists – meaning they have many styles and individual approaches to expressing themselves through music.
We help them identify and realise their goals for better social connections, wellbeing and/or professional skills. We help them attend workshops with others, share their emotions and stories through music to feel more connected and supported, share skills and be taught by professionals - mentoring where required to boost their capabilities and help realise their potential.