Nordoff Robbins joint winner at the UK Mental Health and Wellbeing Awards 2021!

Nordoff Robbins wins after being shortlisted in ‘Support during the pandemic’ category.

We are thrilled to announce that Nordoff Robbins were joint winners at the UK Mental Health and Wellbeing Awards 2021 for the ‘Support During the Pandemic’ award.

Music therapist, Fraser Simpson, won the award on behalf of Nordoff Robbins for his work with our partners, Mountbatten Hospice. Mountbatten delivers hospice and end of life services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, supporting up to 3,000 people on any one day within their own homes, as well as in the hospices buildings.

Fraser’s online work at Mountbatten Hospice during the pandemic, and in particular a song-writing/recording project with Mountbatten Young Adults group and the combined Community Choirs of Mountbatten Isle of Wight and Mountbatten Hampshire, was one of 17 shortlisted projects to be nominated for this prestigious award.

Upon accepting the award, Fraser said:

“Thank you for this award, which I am overwhelmed to receive on behalf of Nordoff Robbins, for delivering a music therapy service at Mountbatten Hospices Isle of Wight and Southampton throughout the pandemic.

For many months, Mountbatten’s very active psycho-social programme (open to the entire local community) and day, self-help and rehabilitation services had to be delivered very differently – with many of these services being delivered virtually though online services and programmes. The music therapy service moved online, offering relief from the social isolation experienced by so many. Music did its magical work of connecting, uplifting, enlivening and enabling, despite the limitations of online working.

Everyone involved deserves credit for this award. On behalf of Nordoff Robbins, I would like to thank all the patients and service users who participated in the sessions, staff and volunteers who facilitated them, Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive of Mountbatten Group, and the film-maker Chris Waitt who generously offered his time and professional expertise to help bring the video and the song together. I was deeply inspired and moved by the enthusiasm, innovation and creativity of so many who believe in the transforming power of music.”

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Members of the choir shared,

“The online choir provided a very welcome sense of purpose and belonging.”

To keep the choir active throughout the pandemic, Fraser supported music therapy services to move online, and several of the Hospice’s music groups began to run via zoom, including the Hospice’s more than 50-member strong Community Choir. Many described how their participation in the choir offered relief from the social isolation of lockdown and a way of staying connected to the Hospice and all the people there whom they greatly missed.

The Choir recorded and released a song in March 2021, One Day Soon, to mark the one year anniversary of the first lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic. The song was composed by members of a group of young adults with life-limiting conditions. Choir members described how the song’s lyrics were about hope and the importance of social connection.