Big Lottery Fund

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Families of profoundly disabled children in Cumbria will have the opportunity to learn together and improve their literacy skills through a range of specialist music workshops following a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Annie Mawson's Sunbeams Music Trust has been awarded £464,498 for the new four-year project, which is aimed at families from highly deprived areas of Cumbria who have children with severe and debilitating disabilities, such as quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

The Music For Life® workshops will feature dance, movement and music, especially singing, which will be accompanied by sign language and embedded with word activities to help families improve their literacy skills. They will be based at four venues near Carlisle, Barrow and Kendal and will be open to all family members, including grandparents and siblings.

Many children with profound disabilities face serious communication problems so, as well as enabling families to learn and improve their skills together, the project hopes to help family members interact more positively, improve their confidence, and strengthen their relationships.

Quote from Parent:

One of the parents whose family took part in the Pilot last year commented, “I have learnt so much about my daughter’s ability – not her disability.  It is amazing to see her grow in these sessions, despite her complex physical and learning difficulties.  As a family we have already gained enormous benefits from her interactions during the Sunbeams Music workshops.  We do hope they will continue.”

Quote from Annie:

On hearing news of the award, Annie Mawson the founder of Sunbeams said, “It is a great honour to have the opportunity to work with these vulnerable families.  We are thrilled to be able to extend our work and help so many families improve their quality of life and their life chances.  It is wonderful that the Big Lottery have recognised that Sunbeams is one of the most innovative, high achieving, ‘hands on’ organisations in the North West Region.”

We are thrilled to receive this funding from the Big Lottery especially having recently received the unfortunate news that the sale of our Eleanor Rigby Ledger has fallen through.


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