Are you up for a challenge?

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A couple of months ago, we were contacted by Life Changing Challenges, providers of some truly exciting home and overseas challenges. The company provides “safe, environmentally responsible affordable challenges to the charity sector that inspire people to make a real life changing difference – for themselves, for local communities and for the charities that they support. We want to make the service an affordable option for all charities within the UK to raise much needed funds for their services, offering listings, support and guidance.” After a short Skype team talk, we thought we would be mad not to take up the invitation of becoming one of the first charities to be listed along with some 30 others spread across a range of concerns and causes. And in the last two days, two brave souls have signed up for the Three Peaks Challenge and another three in the wings!

Life Changing Challenges couldn’t have come at a better time for us. At just over a year old, the Songwriting Charity is slowly but surely establishing itself as a leading wellbeing charity, delivering cutting edge engagement work with children and young people across the country, empowering and inspiring these unconfident, shy, vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals to be bold, to experiment with their creativity. Of course, we’ve always known that songwriting is a brilliant way to get key messages across to children. Yet even we were surprised at times that children embraced this creative outlet with such gusto and enthusiasm. We found that many children weren’t particularly interested in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, yet here they were, writing songs  about this historic event and performing them in front of their school, peers, friends, family! Some weren’t particularly engaged in their learning, yet here they were being given the time to reflect, to be creative and they were rewarding us (and themselves) with lyrical and melodic content far beyond their years in many cases. Our songwriting workshop, is their songwriting day and an opportunity to explore their learning in a unique way, one that builds their self-confidence, improving self-esteem and increases social skills & team work through group songwriting and singing. Magic!

As we move into our second year of operations, the challenge for us is to convert many more of our funding speculations, whilst also encouraging more companies to sponsor elements of our work, whole programmes, or to make a monthly commitment as part of our sc100 scheme. It has been drilled into us from past experience that in order to survive and flourish, this can only happen with a mixed economy of funding in place. We are doing this and we are making it work! It is hard work, but when we are told by head teachers that an unconfident, nervous and very reluctant child we had supported and encouraged during a number of workshops recently performed at the Royal Albert Hall, we just work even harder!

Life Changing Challenges now takes its place in our fundraising mix. They’re a very helpful team and provide considerable support to individuals signing up for their challenges. We have many friends with brave hearts, who are made of sturdy stuff, and we call upon you all to browse these awesome challenges, and help us to be able to deliver our life-changing songwriting programmes to even more children and young people. If you want to talk to us first before making a decision, then just email john@songwritingcharity.org.

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