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04 February 2013

TRASH Arts provides musical workshops in percussion instruments made from "junk" and arts projects operating in the Scottish Borders. The group has been operating since 1994 and has worked throughout the UK, across Europe and in the Middle East. They work with people from the age of 5 with special needs and disabilities and with schools, youth clubs, theatre/dance groups and community groups. The workshop leaders set achievable goals giving everyone something to be proud of. Taking part in the workshops gives musicians greater engagement with the wider community, increased confidence and brings pleasure to others. Participants also feel valued and work in equal partnership with other musicians.

The project of creating a music group was set up specifically for people with disabilities that cause a barrier to accessing mainstream activities. The professional support comes from a freelance worker with experience in music therapy for those with additional needs. The professional supports the music group in rehearsals and during the visits to residential homes to build the confidence of the musicians and the skills of the volunteers. The residents of the care homes have entertaining visits every month and the opportunity to be involved with the music. The project brings together two beneficiary groups who are at risk of becoming isolated due to a lack of opportunities to integrate in mainstream activities.

Being able to involve a professional musician made a huge difference to the success of the project. Adding expertise and confidence to the process of creating an integrated band of adults with additional needs, carers and volunteers, would have been difficult to near impossible without such help. After a number of learning and practice sessions a group of three adults with a degree of learning difficulties, two carers, a volunteer and the freelance professional came together. The group has since performed for residents of care homes in several towns in the Borders, including Jedburgh, Hawick and Galashiels where the band has been warmly received. The set of songs (something everyone was worried about) have gone down well with encores requested and invitations to visit again (which the band will). The band is planning visits to more residential homes in other towns, with Kelso and Bonchester Bridge next on the list. It is hoped that the band, perhaps augmented by other adults TRASH Arts is working with, will go from strength to strength. All thanks to this grant. Thank you”. – Bill Muir, Treasurer.


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