The Kindness of Others

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We start 2018 with important news that could have a significant impact on our fundraising and operational work. We offer our sincere thanks to Scott Pheby and Mike Osborne for choosing us to be the beneficiaries of their corporate support and charitable focus for the next couple of years. Scott is MD of Phebys Ltd Chartered Certified Accountants based in Huntingdon and along with Mike Osborne is co-Founder of The Fabulous Group. We’re so excited that Scott and Mike have chosen to take the Songwriting Charity under their collective wings and to help shape our future for the benefit of thousands of children and young people across the country. Here’s what Scott Pheby has to say about our relationship:

Phebys Ltd have had many clients in the music business over the years and those of you who know me well will be aware that I’m a big music fan. Through our association with the music industry, I attend the BASCA (British Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) Gold Badge Awards each year. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many of my heroes at these events over the years, including Joan Armatrading, Mick Hucknall, Peter Gabriel, Sir George Martin, Sir Ray Davies and Emili Sandé to name but a few.

At last year’s awards, I was fortunate to meet a chap called Nathan Timothy, who was deservedly receiving an award. Following a successful 11-year teaching career, Nathan set up Bullybeat in 2007. These were song-writing and music production workshops for children to express their thoughts on bullying and its effects. He then joined forces with the charity Beatbullying where he worked as their music manager and music practitioner. In 2011, he set up the Nathan Timothy Foundation, better known as “The Song-writing Charity”. Since its formation, the Song-writing Charity team have worked in hundreds of schools, working face to face with over 30,000 children inspiring and engaging them to learn about music and feel good about themselves through the song-writing process.

Unfortunately, due to cut-backs, many schools are now unable to fund these interventions and Nathan, together with his associates who give their time for no reward, are having to increasingly dig into their own pockets to fund ongoing programmes. Consequently, we at Phebys Ltd are keen to help in any way we can. We are organising a big fund-raising event for Easter 2018, on which we’ll be giving more information in the New Year. But, from 1stJanuary 2018, we will be calling on the generosity of our clients to donate 1% of our fee to this fantastic cause. Phebys Ltd will match your donations pound-for-pound so, between you and us, we can hopefully raise a decent sum of money so that more children can benefit from this programme. To those of you who are supporting our new partnership with this charity, I thank you most sincerely for your help and I’ll make sure that we keep you posted on the impact that your generous contributions have made to children’s lives.

Many thanks,

Scott

The Songwriting Charity is small. Its workforce, though diminutive in number, is highly skilled. Nathan, Ben, Kat, Martin, John & Co are out on a weekly basis in schools and community groups across the country tackling a range of issues, taking in the sights from Bristol to Cheltenham, Sheerness to Cambridge, Warwick to Cardiff, Hertford to Clacton and Dover to London. Every day brings new enquiries and expressions of interest from schools and local authorities. We try hard to generate sufficient funds that will enable us to work with schools and groups up and down the land. Schools are under increasing financial pressure and while all would like to work with us, if we can’t secure a grant to deliver a project, they struggle to buy us in to work with their children. As is often the case, we’d rather work with schools than not, and therefore we go where we’re wanted and worry about the rest later!

We ended 2017 knowing that we had to do much more on the fundraising front if we were going to be able to meet the demand we are facing, and also to develop our own practice and ensure we continue to make available the very best creative opportunities for children and young people. With Phebys’ and The Fabulous Group’s support we are going to be able to achieve this and potentially much more. Thank you, Scott and Mike.

Phebys Chartered Certified Accountants

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“You helped me do something today I never thought I could” 

Friends, we need your help. The aim is simple, to deliver an exciting new songwriting and music project designed to empower young people in recovery from addiction. And we need you to help us by making a donation to make this project happen.

This is a new project, in an area of the country we’ve not worked before, and with beneficiaries who would benefit from the time and creative expertise of the Songwriting Charity’s workshop leaders and support workers.

We’ve named this project, Stronger Together, the objective is to embrace the needs of young people aged 14-19 who have experienced difficulties because of drugs and alcohol, and supporting them and empowering them through the art and craft of songwriting and music creation. The project will start on 18th April 2017. We have a base for the project. Young people who are already engaged in recovery are aware of the project and will be meeting with us soon to talk about the next steps.

Workshops led by Nathan Timothy and his team of freelance artists  will work with young people who will self refer over the course of six weeks, focusing on their strengths rather than their difficulties, helping them to look forward to the future with positivity and hope. The project will be based in a safe and welcoming environment, one that the young people will be familiar with and comfortable working in.

The funds raised will be used to entirely fund the costs of workshop leaders, session workers, pastoral support and venue costs. The route from donor to beneficiary couldn’t be clearer or more direct. We are accountable to our beneficiaries, and to you, the donor. We will share the successes, difficulties, impact, the things we make together and the changes that occur as a result of the project.

The title of this post is apt. Many children and young people say to us “You helped me do something today I never thought I could…..” this statement reminds us how powerful songwriting and music creation can be. It shows how opportunities like this can help by providing positive social experiences, addressing problematic attitudes and perceptions, and distracting from negative and damaging influences in a creative way.

Please consider making a contribution to this project, and in doing so you’ll help us replace a young persons feelings of hopelessness and negativity with a sense of pride, optimism and achievement.

Contribute here.

Getting on our bikes to beat bullying

The Songwriting Charity’s very first Nightrider London event is round the corner. Our eighteen Nightriders are primed and ready for the open roads of London. Tooled up with puncture kits, inner tubes, padded shorts, electrolyte tabs, new bicycles, rhubarb & custard gels, water bottles, multi-tools, lights, cameras – ACTION – the team is ready and we are proud of each and every one of them. They have worked hard, trained hard and have been supported by generous sponsors and donors. Team SAMSON are doing an exceptional job! We offer our thanks to everyone involved, especially our sponsors and donors for their support and encouragement. Nightrider London promises to be an exhilarating experience and a night to remember for all involved.

Songwriting CharityIf you receive Google Alerts or equivalent notices about bullying or anti-bullying work and news, you’ll appreciate why we do this work, particularly why we dedicate ourselves to the delivery of Bully Beat (and our many other programmes). Bully Beat is more than a project, a programme, a workshop, it’s an intervention. We are intervening through the intensive, reflective and creative process of songwriting, and aided by the very latest music technology. We are intervening not in a reactive way but in proactive and preventative way. During our workshops, children develop their understanding of bullying through activities and exercises that call on them to reflect on choices they make, the ways in which they behave to one another and the impact those choices can have. Confidence is boosted in a measurable way through participation in singing. We see and document significant positive shifts in children’s pride in literacy work. The benefits and impact are tangible.

Every time a donation is made to any of our Nightrider Bully Beat fundraisers this is the kind of impact you help us have on the lives of children we work with. You should be proud of that. Just look at the infographics below for the proof in our songwriting pudding!

If you haven’t done so already and would like to, please donate to our Nightrider appeal. The more money we raise, the more children and schools we can reach out to. Our team of cyclists deserve the support as do our beneficiaries. Thank you.

SWC_Confidence SWC_Literacy   SWC_Singing

Statistics drawn from evaluation data collected during workshops facilitated by Nathan, Ben, John, Sarah, Kat, Esther, Amy.

Illustrations by Ben O’Sullivan, Director of Programmes.

Ely workers cycle through the night to beat bullying

Bully Beat

The SAMSON Materials Handling Ltd Songwriting Charity Nightrider Team

Workers from SAMSON Materials Handling Ltd in Ely have teamed up with the Songwriting Charity to cycle 100km round London overnight on June 6th to help raise £10,000 to beat bullying in schools.

The funds raised will mean more than 1000 children in primary schools across London, South East and the East of England will benefit directly from participation in the charity’s highly regarded anti-bullying songwriting project, Bully Beat.

Nathan Timothy, Co-Founder and CEO of the Songwriting Charity, said, “We’re very proud to have Terry and his colleagues from SAMSON MH teaming up with us! Bullying is painful, disruptive and damaging to all those affected by it. The idea behind Bully Beat is to get children across the country talking through a network of song, promoting positive anti-bullying intervention, boosting their confidence and self-esteem, some of the very things that bullying behavior destroys. The more we talk about bullying, the stronger the anti-bullying message becomes. When you transform those messages into song, they are amplified and all the more powerful.”

Terry Maley, Services Manager at SAMSON MH said, “I’m happy and grateful to be able to take part in the Nightrider to raise money for the Songwriting Charity. Bullying needs addressing, and I think more so for children who seem to suffer in silence. For the charity to be able to go into schools, and bring these children out of themselves is fantastic, as it shows them that there can be happiness and enjoyment in their lives, and I hope that my small contribution goes some way to help.”

The Songwriting Charity will use the funds raised from the Nightrider challenge to deliver Bully Beat songwriting workshops to schools in and around Ely, and other locations local to where the charity’s Nightrider fundraisers live and work.

About SAMSON Materials Handling Limited:

SAMSON are part of the internationally renowned AUMUND Group, which is based in Germany. For over 40 years, SAMSON Materials Handling have been designing and manufacturing bulk material handling equipment. We are dedicated to providing engineering solutions that are world-class in their concept, execution and delivery. With more than 3,000 installations worldwide, our products are defined by their quality, mobility, flexibility and wide range of application.

About the Nathan Timothy Foundation – Songwriting Charity: The work of the Nathan Timothy Foundation ‘Songwriting Charity’ addresses the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people using songwriting and music technology. Working from bases in Cambridgeshire, Kent and Gloucestershire, the charity’s Bully Beat songwriting project has been designed to enthuse primary aged children about the process of lyric writing, singing, music arranging and contemporary production whilst promoting a serious anti-bullying message.

To date children’s songs written across a range of the Songwriting Charity workshops have been streamed more than 212,000 times on the charity’s SoundCloud, and their music videos viewed more than 145,000 times via the Songwriting Charity’s YouTube Channel.

You can make a commission free donation to the Bully Beat Nightrider appeal here: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/nightrider2015/200571

Songwriting Charity media contact:

John Quinn, Director of Engagement

M: 07950 022009

E: john@songwritingcharity.org