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.
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.