2004-2020. Huge achievement raising £2.5 million to build Sunbeams Music Centre, Penrith., opened officially by Sophie, Countess of Wessex in Feb 2018. From the Centre, we now serve disadvantaged communities throughout Cumbria, raising £400,000+ every year to fulfil our overall aim:
“To relieve sickness and assist in the remedial treatment of children and adults suffering from physical, emotional, psychological and other mental health problems by the provision of Community Music Therapy.”
This most complex of buildings is so beautiful, that it is still receiving acclaim in RIBA news, International Architectural papers, and astonishes the hundreds of visitors and over 60 organisations who hire the Meeting Room, income which helps to pay for our Community Music Therapy to over 900 beneficiaries who attend the Centre.
Chief Executive Annie Mawson MBE now regularly delivers seminars in e.g.Health-Care settings, Directory of Social Change, University of Cumbria, about best practice, using evidence to improve organisations/projects/and outcomes. Big Lottery used Sunbeams as flagship charity for ‘Supporting Change and Impact Programme’ for their Internal Evaluation Training stating:
“This is an extremely well-managed project with experienced, committed, incredibly well-trained staff, helpers and musicians involved in delivery, passionately committed to their work with disabled children, many of whom are emotionally challenging with deeply debilitating illnesses and shortened life-expectancy. Coupled with a project which is over-achieving against its’ targets, this results in a very strong project”
2018 Michael Lawson-Johnson MRSM elected as a Member of Royal Society of Musicians, and awarded Honorary professorship for services to Community Music. He received a standing ovation from the members following his passionate acceptance speech.
Annie stated on BBC. Radio 4’s TODAY programme that our pioneering Music For Life® and Music For Dignity® programmes are renowned for ‘reaching the unreachables’, fulfilling the gaps in service provision for people with disabilities in Cumbria.
2018 The Sunbeams Music Centre was opened by HRH the Countess of Wessex. Read more…
2014 Sunbeams Children are NO. 1 in the Charts! – with Gareth Malone’s All Star Choir singing “Wake Me Up!
Annual Features/Broadcasts for BBC Children in Need launching their popular programme on Blue Peter in 2013 and featured in November of each year ever since, including the stories of individual children with complex medical needs who attend Sunbeams Sessions regularly. Do please access our Video Section.
Media partners with the BBC. Annie has made frequent appearances on e.g. BBC Breakfast News, Radio 4 “TODAY” programme; Radio Cumbria and BBC Children in Need to promote awareness of Sunbeams; also ITV Songs of Praise, GMTV.
2014 Annie awarded MBE (Read more) in the Queen’s Honours List …..“in recognition for her exemplary services to Community Music in Cumbria”. Annie firmly believes Music is inside us all – it just requires the right key to unlock it. She was thrilled to receive the Award from HRH Prince Charles and they shared a wonderful conversation about Cumbria!
2013.External Evaluation of Social Return On Investment (SROI).Delivered £8 of social value for every £1 investment in Music For Dignity® Programme for 379 people with dementia; applauded by Rt.Hon Jeremy Hunt when Minister of State for Health.
2012 Intellectually copyrighted Music For Life® (Read more) and Music For Dignity® (Read more) programmes with the Patent Office.
2011 The Sunbeams Concert Troupe took London by storm, when they gave a Lunch-time Concert at the prestigious St-Martin-In-The-Field Church, to a packed audience.
2009-13 Received funding of £464,498, the largest BIG Lottery Family Learning Grant in the country. For innovative work with disadvantaged families with children with complex medical needs. Extended to 2014 by the Big Lottery for being exemplary project.
Therefore Sunbeams recognised by Skills for Care NMDSC (No.F126227) for accountability. Complies with Ofsted/Adult Learning Inspectorate Framework as an Accredited Centre (No. 54076) for beneficiaries with profound disabilities.
2007 Michael Lawson-Johnson, MRSM Development Manager, invited by Prime Minister’s Office to contribute to “The Sir Robert Balchin Report” on disability and inclusion. Michael then wrote 16 specialist Sunbeams Music Training modules. Pre-level 1 NVQs in Music For Life® for Adults with profound learning disabilities, applauded by Open Awards (then College), as……“the best seen for this type of learner”.
2000 Annie voted “Cumbria Woman of the Millennium Year” – by the Cumbrian communities.
2000 Annie plays Celtic Harp and sings for HH Dalai Lama at the World Conference for Peace in Belfast Cathedral and the City Hall, drawing awareness to the work of Sunbeams
Attracted high-profile Patrons such as Sir James and Lady Cropper, Lord Melvyn Bragg, Lady Eileen Carey, Hal and Susie Bagot MBE, Philip Glass (USA composer), and Justin Pearson, Director of the National Symphony Orchestra.
Since 1992 Sunbeams has run successful Music For Life® projects partly funded by Community Fund/Big Lottery grants in 2001-06. Won N. West Regional Charity and BIG National Childrens’ Finalist 2006-10 , affirming efficacy of our work and proven strong track record.
Sunbeams has grown steadily to deliver FREE Community Music Therapy Sessons every month, and many weekly, to over 3,000 different disadvantaged, vulnerable, disabled people, of all ages, 1 mth-107 years young!
Since 1992, Annie has averaged 100 Harp/Song Recitals every year, for 28 years to raise income for Sunbeams to which she is devoted.
1995 ITV made a documentary, “The Secret Heart”, featuring Sunbeams and the Dancing Drum and American Composer Philip Glass
Annie and a group of 8 girls with Learning Disabilities played their Celtic Harps at the Royal Festival Hall at the National Mencap Festival, representing Sunbeams and the North of England. The girls called themselves “The Dancing Drum” – a pun on Downs Syndrome (their own choice!)
1992.Concert by Northern Sinfonia Orchestra marked founding of Annual Fund-Raising Programme, since including Celebration and Fund-Raising Events at House of Lords in 2015 and Kensington Palace in 2017, and Posh Frocks and Jeans at the Sunbeams Music Centre in 2019.
Bank Account opened with £13.60 donated by Annie’s 8yr old niece who sold ‘conkers’ from family farm!
1992.Sunbeams founded by Harpist/Singer Annie Mawson MBE, when Special School closed where some of the children whom she taught were elective-mutes, but who communicated by singing. They inspired Annie to found Sunbeams, ensuring their transformative progress, through music therapy.
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