Kaiser Chiefs break ground at Newcastle centre

Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson and Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines ceremonially broke ground at our new Newcastle music therapy centre on 1 November, supported by Nordoff Robbins ambassador Evie Whittaker.

The centre, at the former matron’s lodge at Newcastle’s Fleming Hospital, will be operational from April next year and will primarily help vulnerable children and young people from across the region, improving their wellbeing through skilled use of music.

Alison Hornblower, Nordoff Robbins Regional Manager for Yorkshire and the North East, said: “We hope to deliver around 500 sessions once the Newcastle centre is fully open and this new service will help an additional 100 people per year in the region through weekly sessions and longer-term support, in addition to the 1,500 people who currently access our services through our partner organisation work.”

Ambassador Evie added: “It feels great because I know it can help so many people like me. I know that they can help more people with a new centre.”

This will be the first purpose-built Nordoff Robbins music therapy centre outside London. It is supported by the Graham Wylie Foundation, who donated the building and raised substantial funds through Rock’n’Raise – backed by a host of stars, including the Kaiser Chiefs.

“They and many others have been unstinting in their support,” said Graham Wylie, “which is why we are delighted they have agreed to carry out the ceremonial ‘launch’ of the centre.”

The centre will provide individual and group sessions from referrals, as well as potentially offering community drop-in and more open group formats. It will also become a training base for the Nordoff Robbins Master of Music Therapy programme (subject to HCPC approval and validation by Goldsmiths, University of London), alongside our existing training bases in London and Manchester.

Julie Whelan, Nordoff Robbins CEO, said: “Our vision as a charity is a world where music therapy is available to all those who need it, and with this centre we have just taken a significant step forward to making that vision a reality. We thank the Graham Wylie Foundation for making it possible and the Kaiser Chiefs for being with us to mark this occasion.”

Construction of the new centre is being carried out by North East-based JD Joinery and Building Services and Managing Director, Joe Dixon, said: “We are incredibly proud to be involved with the Graham Wylie Foundation to create the first Nordoff Robbins centre in the North East.”

The Graham Wylie Foundation was set up in 2016 by entrepreneur and founder of Sage, Graham Wylie. It is one of just a handful of charities in the world which gives 100 per cent of its donations directly to good causes, with Mr Wylie himself meeting all administration and staff costs.