From loans for start-up business entrepreneurs to support for seriously ill teenagers, your donations are helping young people in all sorts of ways. Youth Music is one charity that uses your pennies to help children and young people reach their full potential through music making.

Playing-guitarMany of the people they support have not had the easiest start in life. After recently arriving in Liverpool from Eritrea, Michael was referred to a Youth Music funded project by a young person’s support service. Although he attended English classes at the local college, Michael lived on his own and his support worker was concerned that he was isolated socially and been taken advantage of by ‘friends’.

After he expressed a keen interest in music, Bob Marley in particular, Michael’s support worker found details of MYA’s Youth Music programme. Michael showed a raw, untutored talent for the guitar and an infectious enthusiasm for music. For the next ten weeks he attended one-to-one guitar lessons, as part of a project designed especially for young people experiencing difficult circumstances.

As Michael began to share his ideas, the adults working on the project discovered more about him and his ambitions. Having built a rapport with him through music, project leaders were able to identify the areas he needed to work on in his personal development and introduce a series of short exercises alongside his musical lessons. These addressed skills such as time-keeping, body language and interview techniques that would directly help him in his search for work.

As well as one-to-one sessions Michael has been helping out at MYA music events, gaining an insight into the different jobs involved and meeting young people his own age. He has recently found a job as a kitchen porter in an Italian restaurant and is enjoying the sense of independence, social opportunities and income that employment brings.

Thanks to the agency partnerships that your donations help to support, Michael is gaining the skills and confidence he needs to navigate the challenges he faces as a newcomer to Britain and take steps to achieve his goals: to find work, find friends and build a better life. And pennies donated in the future to Youth Music will help them continue to support more people like Michael, using music as an aid to help with their development and as a useful tool for support workers engaging with young people.

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