“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.

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Bully Beat is 8 years old today! Happy Birthday!

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Bully Beat is 8 years old today! Happy Birthday!

It’s Bully Beats 8th birthday today. Over the last eight years, Nathan Timothy (and more recently the team at The Songwriting Charity) have worked hard delivering 1500+ workshops, working with 45,000 (at the very least!) young songwriters who have contributed to thousands of songs, soundbites, stories, messages, anthems and so much more. It all started at an anti-bullying conference at Charlton Athletic Football Club. Eight years on, Nathan (and Sarah) are there again during Anti-Bullying Week working with hundreds of young people from across the Royal London Borough of Greenwich to create yet another Bully Beat classic. Bully Beat has come home!

Happy Birthday Bully Beat! And congratulations, Nathan! What an achievement… what a milestone! What a team! Lastly, The Songwriting Charity would like to say thank you to every single school, group and young songwriter for making the Bully Beat journey such a memorable one, and for contributing so much to the anti-bullying movement! We ask one favour of our readers, do something kind, please share this post.

Kindness holds key as children sing out anti-bullying message

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Encouraging children to be kind and help each other will be the focus for anti-bullying week in Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) has joined up with the Songwriting Charity to run 18 workshops in schools throughout the county in November. More than 500 children from 17 primary schools and one secondary school will be involved in producing their own songs and videos.

The aim of the workshops is to encourage young people to be kind to each other, promote positive behaviour and to raise confidence levels. The main activity will be focused around anti-bullying week, which runs from November 18th to 22nd.

Young people in school are being supported to write, rehearse and record an original song and video which will be uploaded to the Songwriting Charity website on the same day. It is free for the children to download and schools can use the songs for presentations and assemblies or for use in their communities.

The schools will also be encouraged to use ‘Bottles of Kindness’ to help young people record their acts of kindness and see the impact of the choices they make. Lessons plans will be provided to support this.

The first workshop ran at Gotherington Primary School on November 12th and this is the song that the Year Four pupils produced: https://soundcloud.com/the-songwriting-charity/sets/something-kind The video is at http://youtu.be/qopL9K-0fQY

The other primary schools taking part in November are St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary, Tibberton, Gretton, The John Moore, Picklenash, Queen Margaret Primary in Tewkesbury, Staunton and Corse and Highnam. The secondary school taking part is Newent Community School. Other schools will be booked in for December.

The focus is on schools in the most rural parts of Gloucestershire, ensuring those with least access to the arts are given new opportunities to participate.

Cllr Dorcas Binns, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “We know from the Online Pupil Survey that an increasing number of young people feel confident in how their school deals with bullying but it’s vital that we keep up the good work.

“We are always looking for new ways to help our schools to tackle bullying and encourage positive behaviour. Workshops like these can be really effective in giving young people the confidence to look out for one another and to raise awareness of where they can turn if they need support.”

The Songwriting Charity offers one-day workshops and performance programmes that provide children with opportunities to sing, write lyrics, perform and record their ideas individually and as a team – evaluating their progress and supporting them to help their friends.

Ben O’Sullivan, Director of Programmes at the Songwriting Charity, said: “This year’s programme will encourage acts of kindness through songwriting, giving kindness the reputation it deserves, as well as leaving the legacy of an original song for all the schools that take part.

“In a safe and supportive environment, we can inspire young people to work together to keep each other safe, to promote positive behaviours and build self-confidence.”

You can find out more about the songwriting charity and see and hear last year’s anti-bullying songs from Gloucestershire schools at www.songwritingcharity.org

The ‘Something Kind’ programme is being supported by The Summerfield Charitable Trust and GHLL. A detailed evaluation of the workshops is also being carried out as part of the programme and the school will be able to use this and evidence from the workshop as part of their application for the GHLL award *

Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) is funded by Gloucestershire County Council Public Health. It provides targeted support to schools to tackle areas they want to focus on improving. This could range from helping ensure more of their pupils eat breakfast to increasing opportunities to be active or improving support to pupils affected by bullying.

When schools apply to become a GHLL Healthy School, their form will be pre-filled with what their pupils have told us in the Online Pupil Survey. As well as saving them time filling in forms, this will mean that pupils’ views are listened to and acted upon.

Schools will need to identify two key areas for improvement – one of which needs to focus on a vulnerable group of pupils. Targeted intervention and support to tackle these priorities will then be provided free to schools by a group of leading teachers. Additional expertise could also be provided by Public Health and other county council staff.

Gloucestershire was the first county to take this targeted approach, which will ensure that the right support gets to the most vulnerable children, helping them to do better at school.

Published: 14 November 2013

Feedback from teachers we’ve worked with on Project K

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We hope you like this video! Feedback from some of the heads & teachers we worked with on Project K last year in Cardiff. Details about Project K 2014 will be released soon. Project K is a special songwriting-in-schools programme for primary schools in Wales.

In 2013, pupils attending ten Cardiff primary schools benefited from this fully funded song-writing project promoting peace, celebrating song and remembering Kate Johnson, the sister of the charity’s CEO, Nathan Timothy. Kate was a visual artist in Cardiff who sadly passed away in July 2012. Kate was involved in the early stages of the Songwriting Charity’s work when it was founded in 2011

Project K 2014 is beginning to take shape. We plan to involve up to 40 primary schools and are busy putting a fundraising plan into action. We’re keen to hear from companies, local businesses and individuals who would like to get involved in the following ways:

  • Event sponsorship. Last year we held the Project K celebration event at the Millennium Stadium! We can’t think of a more iconic venue and intend to ‘takeover’ the stadium again next year. Can your company help us in 2014?
  • Make a personal or company donation towards our goal of bringing Project K to more than 1200 children. Visit BT MyDonate where you can make a commission free donation towards Project K.
  • If you have a place on the Cardiff Half Marathon 2014 or are planning a challenge event/activity, please consider raising funds for us and Project K.
  • If an employee decides to raise funds for Project K, could your company match it?
  • Provide in-kind support, for example marketing opportunities like advertorials in magazines, or letting us utilise any spare printing capacity for posters, stickers, leaflets even extra special Project K badges!

Whatever you decide to do, it will make a difference to a great many primary school children in your community.

If you have other ideas about how you can help us, or would like to discuss any of the above just email john@songwritingcharity.org

 

‘No War’ by Trowbridge Primary School, Cardiff

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‘No War’ was written and performed by pupils from Trowbridge Primary School, Cardiff. Trowbridge is one of ten schools we’ve worked with over the last four months as part of Project K.

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Project K: Songs in the Key of Peace

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Over the last four months the Songwriting Charity has been working with ten schools in South Wales. The pupils benefited from a fully funded song-writing project called ‘Project K’, promoting peace, celebrating song and remembering Kate Johnson, the sister of the charity’s CEO, Nathan Timothy. Kate was a visual artist in Cardiff who sadly passed away in July 2012 after a short illness. Kate was involved in the early stages of the Songwriting Charity’s work when it was founded in 2011.

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Project K schools assembled in the Millennium Lounge at the Millennium Stadium watching their high definition music videos for the first time!
Photo credit: Paul James Newton Photography

Phase one of Project K culminated in a celebratory event (our first ever!) held at the Millennium Stadium on July 8th with the support of the Millennium Stadium Communities Team and Capita Education Resourcing. 300 pupils from the schools, with teachers, parents and invited guests were in attendance. Each workshop and school performance (filmed in high definition) was shown for the first time to the assembled pupils and guests at the stadium.

Nathan Timothy, CEO of the Songwriting Charity said, “Project K is a fitting tribute to my wonderful sister. Standing in front of 300 smiling children at the Millennium Stadium was one of the most wonderful feelings I have ever experienced. I have never felt so proud, so emotional, so elated. The children were so excited to hear their songs of peace and attentive as they watched their films on the big screen for the first time. To everyone who has worked so hard to make this project a success, I am so grateful. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough. Here’s to next year!’

Special guests included Songwriting Charity Ambassadors, The Floe, who performed three songs, including an exclusive written for Project K and available now as a free download https://soundcloud.com/thefloe/t-minus-one-by-the-floe-free, and BBC Wales’ Frank Hennessy who delighted the crowd with an energetic and lively set featuring some of his and our favourite songs. It really was a pleasure to have Frank and The Floe as our VIPs for the day.

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Sarah Springett & Liz Townsend, Songwriting Charity Ambassadors The Floe
Photo credit: Paul James Newton Photography

Liz Townsend, one half of The Floe said, “Project K was my first public engagement as Ambassador for the charity and what a truly incredible day it was! Hundreds of children from ten schools all showcasing their songs at the Millennium Stadium, it really doesn’t get any better than this. Seeing their faces as they watched themselves on screen, you couldn’t help but be in awe at the extensive amount of work that went into the production of the songs, the videos and the entire event. I feel honoured to have been part of Project K 2013 and can’t wait to see what Project K 2014 will bring. One thing is guaranteed… it will be exceptional!”

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Frank Hennessy presenter of Celtic Heartbeat, BBC Wales delighting the audience with the crowd pleasing Billy The Seal!
Photo credit: Paul James Newton Photography

The Songwriting Charity is continuing to raise funds to support further workshops in the Cardiff area with the aspiration that Project K will live on and reach out to children and young people across Wales.

Initial funding for Project K was through a sponsored 3-Peaks Challenge in May 2013 a challenge undertaken by Paul James Newton, Richard Barron, Jamie Quarry, Scott Bailey, Scott Cohen, Paul Gregory, Rebecca & Joe Davies, Peter & Charlotte Rhodes and Nathan Timothy.

An evocative preview of Project Khttp://youtu.be/jk6tQLQefDo

‘Project K’ partner schools:

Meadowlane Primary School

Oak Field Primary School

Oakfield Primary School

Rumney Primary School

Springwood Primary School

Tai Education Centre

Trowbridge Primary School

Willowbrook Primary School

Windsor Clive Primary School

Ysgol Cymraeg Pwll Coch

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For more information about the Songwriting Charity and Project K, and on how to get involved contact john@songwritingcharity.org  /  07950022009

Nathan Timothy Foundation ‘The Songwriting Charity’, 10 Whitehorse Mews, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7QD

To make a donation towards future Project K work, please click here

The Songwriting Charity has offices in Cambridge, Cheltenham and Dartford.

Company No. 7719125 Registered charity no. 1146228. Patron: Guy Fletcher OBE FRSA