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Working in partnership with communities, educational and cultural organisations, they create long-term inclusive programmes and courses to support positive mental health and wellbeing.

For Soundcastle, everyone deserves access to arts activity to promote positive mental health and social connection, especially for the most vulnerable members of our society. Their transformational music projects and dedicated team of professional musicians create safe, fun and inspiring spaces where people can connect, play and find their voice.

Read Tom’s* story:

When Tom first attended Singing for Wellbeing, it was his first social activity for many years. Living with schizophrenia and with many voices active in his head and disrupting his feeling of safety, Tom found it very hard to leave the house. With the support of social prescribing, he was encouraged to try “Singing for Wellbeing” as a supportive place, very close to his home.

When Tom first arrived, he found it difficult to engage with other members of the group because the voices in his head were very active and distracting, so he would remain quiet. Despite finding it a challenge to leave the house each week, Tom loved music and was determined to take part.

After the first six months, when a performance sharing event was first mentioned, Tom was not comfortable to attend. However, a turning point came in the autumn term. Reflecting with the group at the end of a session, Tom commented that “I’m starting to notice other people in the room.” That feeling of connection continued. Tom went on to join the programme “New Rhythms” in addition to “Singing for Wellbeing”.

This meant that Tom was now leaving his home on two days of the week! And he started playing a range of musical instruments. He bought himself a tongue drum to continue playing at home and started using music as a tool to support his wellbeing beyond the Soundcastle sessions. “When I don’t have things to do in the day, I find it hard to get up in the morning. Today I had a bath and put on clean clothes and ate breakfast because I knew I had music.”

To finish the year, Tom evidenced a newly found confidence when he joined the other singers in his first community performance as part of the Winter Warmer sharing event. He commented: “I’m starting to hear what my voice sounds like.”

*Name has been changed for anonymity.

Find out more about Soundcastle

Published on 8th Jan 2024

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