Children and young people given a voice through singing

Date: 14 November 2017

Creative Minds has secured funding and support from Children in Need to set up a number of choirs for young people with moderate to severe mental health issues. This unique project will be run across Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield and, through the medium of song, will have a positive and inclusive effect on the young people who attend.

It is anticipated that up to 180 children and young people will take part in the project, which will take place after school and run for over 40 weeks of the year. The choirs will help young people build their emotional wellbeing, helping them to cope better with life’s challenges and reducing the risk of them needing mental health services in the future.

Phil Walters, Creative Minds strategic lead said: “The choirs will establish healthy boundaries for children and young people, where the main focus is on singing and not on an individual’s problems. There is evidence that singing helps people to manage their anxiety and stress levels, and our supportive and friendly choirs will give young people to the space to relax, contemplate and build meaningful relationships with the other singers.”

“Led by trained professionals the young people will start with singing for fun sessions, moving towards choir practice and eventually public performances. I am already excited about seeing it.”

He continued: “The support from Children in Need will allow us to ensure that more people are able to express themselves creatively, leading into a reduction in mental health service use as young people learn how to manage their emotions better and build their self-esteem.”

The way that the choirs will be set up and run will echo the Creative Minds ethos of using creative approaches to understanding, supporting and improving people’s mental health and wellbeing. The choirs will be relaxed, informal, empowering and promote young people’s talent and potential.

Creative Minds is a charity hosted by our Trust. Its charitable aim is to develop creative activities in partnership with community organisations that help improve the health and wellbeing of people who use our services.