The most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in our society are often those who can benefit most from making music. Yet often because of the challenges they face, they’re the least able to access opportunities to do so. SWAG (Swindon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire) Musical Inclusion was a programme funded by Youth Music and others, which addressed this challenge. Anita worked with the partnership over a number of years, including writing case studies of their work.
The young people involved were those not in education or employment (NEET) or at risk of becoming so; those experiencing emotional, social or behavioural difficulties; looked-after children; or those with special educational needs.
The work is strong on impact and outcomes, but those involved often struggle to raise awareness and understanding of their work, and the specialist skills involved. SWAG contracted us to produce three case studies initially, interviewing music leaders and project managers, and using anonymised records of the children and young people involved.
The case studies are now being used to advocate and explain the work to funders and commissioners of services. At least one of the projects has reported that they have secured a long-term contract with one school and are in discussions with another, as a result of the case study.
Anita later wrote a second series of case studies which explained the practice in more detail. They explored how the projects came about, and the successes and challenges: the aim was to pass on the learning to other practitioners/policy makers.
Read the case studies: