Music and art was the order of the day when Mezzo Soprano Laura Wright dropped by at the Orchard Day Centre, Epsom, to help celebrate the launch of the Care UK Wellbeing Foundation and partnership with Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s leading music therapy charity.
Laura – who has over a million album sales under her belt and is England’s official anthem singer for the rugby – is a VIP Ambassador for Nordoff Robbins, the first chosen charity partner for the Wellbeing Foundation. Nordoff Robbins is a charity dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults living with a range of challenges. The charity received a £50,000 donation from the Foundation, which will fund over 1,500 music therapy sessions across the country.
Speaking at the launch, Mike Parish, Chief Executive of Care UK, comments: “We are very proud to launch the foundation and introduce Nordoff Robbins as our charity partner of the year. Nordoff Robbins demonstrates how music can transform lives for the better, helping people with mental health problems, dementia or learning difficulties, so they really embody the theme of the Care UK Wellbeing Foundation – using creative therapies to enhance people’s wellbeing.”
As well as partnering with Nordoff Robbins, the Wellbeing Foundation, founded by leading health and social care provider Care UK, will also support smaller projects and charities which reflect its theme and values.
The theme for the inaugural year is ‘wellbeing through the arts’ and the Foundation will donate to causes which use creative therapies to promote health and happiness among vulnerable communities.
Creative therapy, whether through music, drama or art, has known benefits in enhancing a person’s sense of wellbeing, and has particular benefits for those who are living with mental health conditions, or older people living with dementia.
Care UK colleagues as well as the general public can apply for funding for relevant causes by applying via the Wellbeing Foundation website www.careukwellbeingfoundation.com/nominations/.
Mike continues: “Generosity to people and charity seems to be in the DNA of the many thousands of colleagues in Care UK, whether they work in GP surgeries and walk in centres, 111 centres, care homes, prisons, mental health services or treatment centres, or working in the home of the individual they treat or support.
“Our employees raise thousands of pounds for great causes through various initiatives every year. We’ve always aimed to support them by matching their own fundraising, but we wanted to do more to harness the collective goodwill of the people at Care UK, which is why we decided to set up the Wellbeing Foundation.
“The Foundation gives us, at company level, a platform through which we can give back to the community. We will invest £100,000 each year on research and good causes which promote wellbeing among people who depend on health and social care services.”
Dr Marcus Stephan, Chief Executive Officer of Nordoff Robbins, says: “We feel extremely privileged to have been chosen by Care UK to be their charity of the year. We are looking forward to working in partnership with Care UK to support thousands of vulnerable children and adults up and down the country. Their generous donation and commitment to fundraising for Nordoff Robbins across the year will enable us to provide life-transforming music therapy sessions for people struggling with a range of challenges. Thanks to Care UK, together we’ll be able to reach many more people through music.”
Speaking of the benefits of music therapy and Nordoff Robbins’ achievement in this area, Professor Stephen Clift, Director, Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Canterbury Christ Church University, says: “A growing body of scientific evidence points to the therapeutic value of music in supporting the health and wellbeing of vulnerable people in healthcare settings and the community. Nordoff Robbins had made a uniquely valuable contribution to research and practice in music therapy, and has helped to promote this developing and exciting field.”
During the launch Nordoff Robbins’ music therapist Kwaku Tieku led an improvisatory music-making session for visitors to the Orchard Centre, all of whom have dementia. The visitors also helped create a ‘Wellbeing montage’, with the support of the care team at the Orchard Centre.
Go to www.careukwellbeingfoundation.com/nominations/ to nominate a cause.