Drumming up Success – you can’t Beat It
A social enterprise business that we helped to get set up through a Start Up Loan has been confirmed as a winner of the People’s Project – the BIG Lottery funding competition that is voted for by members of the public.
Beat It Percussion CIC, which runs therapeutic drumming workshops, has been awarded £50,000 to take drumming into community settings across Wales and the West Midlands. In collaboration with A Different Beat, a Powys based community group, Beat It will be working with dementia patients and their carers, providing interactive sessions that help to combat the social isolation and loneliness that can be felt by sufferers of the condition..
Beat It Percussion is managed by Lynn Kay. ‘Five years ago, I was an English teacher with experience in coaching adults with language difficulties. As an antidote to the stress of the teaching profession, I got involved in community drumming sessions and discovered how the act of making music could help build confidence, develop friendships and generally promote an enhanced sense of well-being.’ For Lynn it proved a transitional moment.
Assisted initially by an Awards for All grant, Lynn set about learning the ropes, taking drumming sessions out on the road and into nursing homes and pre and special school settings, where she witnessed the benefits that the connection between music and activity could bring. Having gathered a volunteer board of like-minded directors, Beat It Percussion was born in 2013. A Start Up Loan to assist with set up costs was secured through Robert Owen in September 2015, and we also assisted with the development of the social enterprise’s business and marketing plan.
The scope of the business is broad says Lynn ‘Beat It’s customer base spans generations, from pre-school age children to nursing home patients. We work with people with learning difficulties and corporate bodies who wish to promote team building within their organisations. In 2016, we will be developing a new ‘Drumming World’ programme of activities for school age children linked to the forthcoming Olympics in the carnival capital of the world – Rio de Janeiro.’ Going forward, the business sees itself becoming sustainable through a mixture of private sector contracts, commissions and grant funding.
The People’s Project Lottery success grew out of experience of working in care homes and adult day services in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. ‘Many dementia patients, particularly those who have lost language skills, suffer from an acute sense of isolation. Participation in a group activity, and particularly with those who care for them, helps to rebuild confidence in themselves and in their surroundings. It also helps to deepen the relationship between the patient and those upon whom they depend. All through being able to communicate through sharing simple sounds and eye contact.’
Little did Lynn realise, five years ago when she first picked up a drum, how her life was soon to take such a creative and rewarding direction. Here at Robert Owen, we are happy to have been able play a part in her success with a Start Up Loan.