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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Nathan Timothy Receives Prestigious BASCA Gold Badge Award

Founder and CEO of the Songwriting Charity, Nathan Timothy, has been honoured in this years Gold Badge Awards for… “inspiring and empowering a whole generation of children and young people through music.”

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The BASCA Gold Badge Awards have been presented for over forty years and honour those who have worked tirelessly to support the British songwriting and composing community. This year, Nathan shares the list with a glittering collection of creative individuals.

Crispin Hunt, BASCA Chairman said: “It is a great pleasure for BASCA to celebrate the creativity, inspiration, taste and genius included in this year’s list of Gold Badge Award recipients. Each of these remarkable individuals has helped shape the architecture of the music Britain loves in their own unique and significant way. For BASCA’s community of songwriters and composers to be able to congratulate and pay tribute to their influence in our profession at this joyous event is an honour. It’ll be a good one.”

We’re very proud of Nathan for all of the hard work and dedication he has put into his songwriting career over the last couple of decades, and his work inspiring and empowering children and young people through the wonder of music and songwriting.

We hope you’ll join us in congratulating Nathan.

Well done, buddy!

Whoever You Are

Impossible not to be charmed and impressed by this latest Bully Beat song brought to us by the consistently brilliant young songwriters at Edward Francis Primary School, Rayleigh, Essex. The song deals with a serious issue confronting children and young people today. Whoever You Are is catchy, thoughtful, containing crystal clear messages. The sparkling performances captured in the video ensure the song’s appeal ranges far and wide. We’ve no doubt it will bring a smile to your face and get you tapping your feet, all for the right reasons!

Well done Edward Francis Primary School! You have graduated two cohorts of exceptional songwriters and clued up Bully Beat activists! This year’s Anti-Bullying Week is all about Making A Noise About Bullying – well you guys have been doing that for the last two years (and more) with the Songwriting Charity.

We offer thanks to the Essex Community Foundation and the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust Burns Night Pledge donors for supporting this important project, for playing their part in empowering children through the art and craft of songwriting and helping the world hear what they have to say.

‘Let The Sun Shine’ during Anti-Bullying Week

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Get up on your feet

Yeah

And dance to the beat

Listen to our voices

Make the right choices!

‘Let The Sun Shine’ is an anti-bullying pop song written by children at Edward Francis Primary School, Essex. We’d like to thank Headteacher Mr. Gary Soars for having us in the school and Mrs. Amy Vinnicombe for her ongoing support and encouragement. Finally, well done to all the children who took part in the workshops. The contributions were, to coin a phrase, ‘epic’! And we look forward to working at EFPS again in the New Year.

About Bully Beat in Essex
Our second Bully Beat project in Essex primary schools is supported by the Essex Music Education Hub, with generous music technology support granted by Korg Education.

Andy Hill, Head of Essex Music Education Hub said, “that the Hub is delighted to be able to support a project that raises awareness of Anti-bullying and gives young people an opportunity to perform and compose music too!”

Bully Beat 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. We’re using informal music education and literacy working to communicate a range of key messages. Every song is written by the children. We record, produce and publish the songs at the end of the process.

The three key messages are: Looking out for your peers, particularly the most vulnerable; how to report worries, and keeping yourself safe. We think that the more we talk about it, the stronger the anti-bullying message becomes. And when you transform those messages into song, they are amplified and all the more impactive. Every workshop produces a song that every child has contributed to.

Support The Songwriting Charity When You Shop Online!

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Support The Songwriting Charity When You Shop Online!

Remember! When you are buying Christmas presents online, make sure that you generate a free cash donation for The Songwriting Charity with every purchase via www.TheGivingMachine.co.uk. There are over 600 of the most popular retail stores taking part in the scheme making it so easy for you to make difference without it costing you a penny more than the normal purchase price of your item. Whether you’re purchasing insurance policies, a new iPad, clothes, furniture from John Lewis, downloading tracks from iTunes or booking a weekend away at Premier Inn, doing it through The Giving Machine will help trigger those all-important donations to charities like us and many others.

Givers like you have raised a magnificent £475 so far…. just by shopping online via >> The Giving Machine! << so right through the busy Christmas shopping period (and beyond for that matter!), keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll keep turning your gesture into meaningful and sustainable action with those that matter, our beneficiaries!

Get vocal about the Songwriting Charity during Small Charity Week 2013!

As we approach the end of only our second year as a charity, we look forward to celebrating what is shaping up to be a truly epic Small Charity Week which runs from 17th – 22nd June 2013. Why ‘epic’? Well for starters, all of our Songwriting Charity Workshop Leaders will be busy. Workshops will be running in Leicestershire, Surrey, Greenwich, Lambeth, Hackney. We are completing (huge) bids, catching up with our friends Ploink on Wednesday at the Small Charity Week Policy Reception, meeting a new Patron for the first time tomorrow (Monday!) and hoping our loyal and very supportive Facebook and Twitter friends will do their utmost to help us win some of the brilliant competitions being run by the Small Charity Week team! Before we get to the Facebook and Twitter competitions, we wanted to share some facts and figures about progress the Songwriting Charity has made in this very busy second year! And to think we’ve done most of this running on the smell of an oily rag!!
  • Up to 31st July 2012 we delivered 130 workshops.
  • The number of workshops in total that we will complete by 31st July 2013 will be 333, (give or take a few) which is a staggering increase of 156% on 2012’s figures. 
  • Number of children and young people we have worked with directly is currently 10,245. 
  • Songs written by children is currently at 350, but with five more weeks to go, there’ll be many more!
  • 88% of children and young people we’ve worked with would like a songwriting workshop every week!
  • 96% rated our workshops as Excellent or Good;
  • A third of children say they don’t want to sing at the start of the day but by the end of the day 9 out of 10 say they enjoyed singing with us! Confidence building!
  • 59% of children did not previously report bullying occurring. 95.04% say they would now report bullying in the future.
  • SoundCloud plays as of this evening are at 84,843.
  • And YouTube Video views stand at 37,919.
  • 86% of teachers notice positive changes in the behaviour of the children in the short time we work with them.
  • 100% of professionals say our work supports the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of their students.
  • We have 36 audio testimonies from professionals we have worked as well as written feedback from more than 200.
  • We are now working with more than 400 schools!
  • You should read what parents have to say! And the children!
On the financial side, the charity’s first year of income (up to 31st July 2012) was only £37,103.00 (it really was just an oily rag!):
  • With voluntary income (grants and donations) at £2,401.00
  • And Project income (commissioning) £34,700
Things have picked up in the second year (up to 31st May 2013) with income currently at £118,842.76 (an increase of 220%!):
  • Voluntary income increased 2027% to £51.079.98!
  • Project income increased by 79% to £62,085.00!

We’re very proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time. It has been tough for us in many ways; new kids on the block, being viewed as high-risk, no core funding, proving our worth and effectiveness, measuring impact. Why have we shared these figures with you? We want you to know how we’re doing. Our first full accounts will soon go up on the Charity Commission website (sooner if they’ll let us!). We want you to know because many of you reading this have made frequent and crucial donations in answer to our Tweets, Posts, and appeals using Just Text Giving, The Giving Machine, Ploink or BY MyDonate. And let’s face it, without your unwavering and enthusiastic support, we wouldn’t be in the position we are now!

Why is Small Charity Week so important to us (and the many thousands of others out there)? It’s the first time we have been involved of course! It’s a brilliant way to get people focused on the work of small charities up and down the country. The competitions that Small Charity Week 2013 are running are really simple ways to get you all involved! And we figured it would be a great way to try and mobilise our fans out there! What we need is for all of you to get ‘vocal’ and shout about us on the Small Charity Week Facebook Page for example, ‘I Love the Songwriting Charity because they support the wellbeing of thousands of children!’ or on Twitter, “I love @NTFoundation because they empower children through songwriting @SCWeek2013”. If we win, we will use the prize to part fund upcoming Bully Beat workshops! Remember to check out the Small Charity Week Website for the rules! If we don’t try…….

We are a strong, lean and dedicated ‘small charity‘ team that works tirelessly to help improve the self esteem, confidence and overall wellbeing of many thousands of vulnerable, disaffected, isolated and unhappy children and young people. Thanks guys. Have a good week and thanks for always being there!

JQ

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Why I Give To Charity?

Giving to charity has become more important to me since I became a parent myself. We do not choose the cards we are dealt at birth and for some, life is far more of a struggle, than it should be.

I give to charity because I believe that I am no different to anyone else, I’m just fortunate, and I feel that by ‘giving’, whether it be my time, or in a small financial way, I can help make a real difference to someone in need.

I first heard about the Nathan Timothy Foundation – ‘The Songwriting Charity’ whilst attending a ‘Matt Cardle’ gig last summer. The Songwriting Charity were the chosen beneficiary of the money kindly raised, through the sale of a small number of VIP ‘meet and greet’ tickets. However, it has been via ‘Twitter’ that I have learnt of the invaluable work they do, helping young people to express themselves and deal with a variety of issues, through their songwriting workshops. Not being local, nor hugely wealthy, I was unsure what, if any help I could be, however, it soon became apparent that any ‘retweeting’ or sharing of their posts on social networking sites, was greatly appreciated and from there our friendship has grown. Now, whenever I shop online, I go through ‘The Giving Machine’, donating where possible, a % of my total spend to The Songwriting Charity and also donate my small change to them, once a month, via online site ‘Ploink’.

These small acts on my behalf, are not only used almost immediately by The Songwriting Charity for their work, but are genuinely appreciated by them and they are exceptional at thanking all those, who help them help others.  It is a ‘relationship’ that I not only value, but one in which I feel valued too.

Helen Hannam

And from everyone at The Songwriting Charity, a big thank you to Helen Hannam for sharing her thoughts with the world! Helen, you’re a star!