Here’s how you’ve funded Blackburn Festival of Light Street Band

Formed in December 2019, Blackburn Festival of Light Street Band is a community-based group with the aim of providing new cultural experiences to the local community in Blackburn. With a mix of people aged 19-75, the group is open to everyone, regardless of background. Some chose to join the group to try and improve on a lack of confidence, whilst others have difficulties with mental health and low-self esteem. In its current form, the band includes people with visual impairment, people needing support with anxiety and their emotional well-being, and people wanting to rebuild their confidence following the pandemic.

One group member, Angela, explained how she joined the band because she suffered from anxiety and depression. By coming to the drum group every week, she has already felt an improvement in her mental health – a message that is replicated throughout the group.

Recently, the group became aware of a grant scheme run by our charity, Newground Together. The group swiftly applied and were soon excited to find out they had been accepted for a grant.

Through this grant, the group were able to fund a “Carnival Beats Project”, which enabled the group to work with a new leader. Through the new leader’s guidance, the band increased their skills in carnival samba music and rhythm, giving the participants a wider range of materials to use during practice and performances. This gave the band the confidence to perform at the Blackburn Festival of Making, where 19 participants performed in the town centre.

Sue Ridyard, a BFOL volunteer, said “There is overwhelming feedback from members about the support we give to individuals facing barriers to participation. In addition, the way we work allows total beginners to play alongside those with more musical experience, with everyone participating at a level which is appropriate to their musical and physical abilities. The funding has been vital to us – it has enabled us to offer a carnival project, teach new skills, and improve participation and confidence.”

As always, without your continued support, we would not be able to provide our parent charity with the funding they need to be able to do such great work. So once again, we take the opportunity to thank you for your business.