Nordoff Robbins granted £150,000 to fund work with critically ill children

Nordoff Robbins has been awarded a £150,000 grant by The St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation to help us develop our music therapy in children’s hospices and hospitals across the UK.

The money will help safeguard our existing music therapy services in children’s hospices and hospitals and will also mean we can set up new services in at least two new locations, including Norwich and Swindon. We estimate that by the end of the 3-year funding agreement we will have been able to reach and support at least 200 more children, offering musical companionship and support when they need it most.

Through music, our therapists can offer a child suffering from a critical illness a valuable space for expression of difficult emotions, as well as an opportunity to focus on something meaningful. By focusing on what a child can do, rather than how their illness may limit them, music therapy can provide a sense of comfort and enjoyment, at a time when their usual social and recreational activities may not be possible.

5-year-old Charlie received Nordoff Robbins music therapy during a six-month stay in hospital while he was undergoing treatment for leukaemia. Because Charlie has Downs Syndrome, he was left particularly vulnerable to infection and complications, and due to his significant developmental delays, Charlie could not even communicate how he felt, or even where he was feeling pain.

His mum, Emma said: “The music therapy sessions were an absolutely invaluable part of Charlie’s treatment, soothing and bringing happiness to our poorly boy. Seeing Charlie happy made everyone else happy – the music would literally transform our day.  It was like a ray of sunshine to his mind and soul, and an outlet for his feelings”

The, £150,000 grant has been given by the philanthropic arm of St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group whose focus is on helping children and young people who have special needs through illness, disability or mental health problems and also those who are disadvantaged in other ways.

Nordoff Robbins chief executive Julie Whelan said: “This grant is truly significant for us as a charity. Our aim is to make music therapy more accessible and this money will allow us to bring the vital benefits of music therapy to even more children facing some of the most difficult challenges imaginable. We are very grateful to the St James Place Charitable Foundation for awarding us this grant and helping us make our mission a reality.”