Musical Connections

Musical Connections is a small charity with a large impact. Their aim is to help vulnerable and isolated older people to lead happier and healthier lives by participating in community music groups and choirs in and around York. They run weekly music groups and community choirs in care homes, sheltered housing schemes and community centres which are enjoyed by at least 250 elderly people a year with the support of professional musicians. In addition the charity runs a flourishing programme of intergenerational projects with local schools, colleges and both of York’s universities. The impact of their work is widespread with participants consistently reporting improved emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.

From a small pilot project 10 years ago, Musical Connections has steadily grown and developed. The organisation has a solid mix of funding sources including local community fundraising and earned income from music sessions. Over the past few years they have expanded their work with other charities and care agencies to ensure they are able to reach the most vulnerable and isolated people. At the same time they introduced free transport so that less mobile people could also participate, all of which increased the charity’s overheads. To help cover these costs, Musical Connections applied to the Foundation for the first time in 2018. The Trustees were impressed by the charity’s efficient use of resources, sensible financial plan and level of local partnerships and were happy to make an unrestricted grant spread over three years to help support their steady rate of growth.

“The generosity of the Garfield Weston Foundation has made an enormous difference to us. I am convinced that being able to show that we have significant multi-year funding already in place has encouraged other funders to support us.” Fiona Chapman, Project Director