Plymouth Music Zone has secured a major grant to further develop its pioneering strand of work supporting children and young people facing tough challenges in their lives. The £136,708.28 grant was awarded by The National Foundation for Youth Music. It allows PMZ to extend its partnership links with education, health and social care organisations to deliver special “musical respite” activities that can support the emotional wellbeing of young people and their families. 

The three year “Breakthrough Music” programme provides a wide range of exciting creative music-making and social experiences that especially target those young people who might otherwise miss out. This includes working with partner organisations supporting children and young people who may have been subject to traumatic circumstances such as domestic abuse or sexual violence as well as young people in a psychiatric unit experiencing severe mental health issues.

PMZ’s Chief Executive, Debbie Geraghty, says:

“We’ve seen the immense personal and social benefits that music can bring to young people in general. Ensuring music is front and centre for young people during their more difficult times can mean it becomes a real lifeline. Those cross sectoral organisations we work with are doing some of the most vital and much needed work with young people and families in Plymouth. They tell us music has now become a powerful tool within their bigger picture in supporting young people. We’re so grateful Youth Music has chosen to continue investing in PMZ in this way. It will also enable us to keep developing this groundbreaking work so we can share more of our learning further afield to make sure even more young people can benefit”.

The ‘Breakthrough Music’ programme will involve Plymouth Music Zone working with many organisations across the city who support children and young people through difficult transitions. These include organisations working in the area of sexual violence and abuse such as Plymouth Domestic Refuge and Simply Counselling or in areas of addiction and recovery including the Sunflower Centre. It also involves working with those whose focus is improving the mental health of young people including Plym Bridge Adolescent Psychiatric Unit and organisations like the adoption charity, Families for Children, who use music to support children to build strong relationships with new families.

PMZ shares Youth Music’s mission to provide young people with musical opportunities to unlock and fulfil their creative potential regardless of who they are, where they live or what they’re going through.  Breakthrough Music will also strengthen PMZ’s Music Leader workforce and continue to support the charity’s “Open Zone” sessions and events that welcome everybody and bring the many diverse areas of the charity’s work together.

Breakthrough Music activities will be promoted on Plymouth Music Zone’s website and Facebook page as well as through flyers and posters around the city.  To find out more about the project and the additional workforce development opportunities available, please contact Plymouth Music Zone on 01752 213690.​