Tuesday, 23 July 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Big Noise summer holiday clubs a great success

MORE than 500 children and young people attended Big Noise holiday clubs over the summer – providing them with healthy food and free childcare for families.

Big Noise centres, run by the charity Sistema Scotland, have been offering holiday clubs in the communities where they are based for the past 15 years.

This summer, 566 participants attended clubs at centres around the country in Raploch and Fallin, Stirling, Govanhill, Glasgow, Torry, Aberdeen, Douglas, Dundee, and Wester Hailes, Edinburgh.

They received 4,164 hot meals including breakfasts and lunches, as well as over 1,000 healthy snacks.

The summer holiday club provision helps children and young people continue to improve their musical, social, and personal skills throughout the school break and supports local families by providing essential childcare.

Participants were also able to take part in fun activities and trips including trying new sports, playing laser tag, and joining a course of podcasting workshops, all of which were free of charge.

The children and young people also had regular music lessons and practice to build on the skills they had learned during Big Noise’s in-school and after-school programmes. Big Noise’s summer holiday club aims to continue its work of equipping children and young people with vital life skills, enhancing their overall well-being, and opening doors to new opportunities that they may not otherwise have throughout the summer months.

At Big Noise Govanhill, some young participants had the opportunity to organise their own concert in the community as part of The Govanhill International Festival and Carnival. The young participants at Big Noise Douglas also had the opportunity to visit a local deer centre and took part in a circus-skills workshop.

Families with children and young people enrolled in Big Noise’s summer club programmes received up to four sessions of free childcare per week, allowing community members to engage in additional work, training, and other pursuits.

In addition to its summer provision, Big Noise also hosts holiday clubs during the Easter and October school holidays.

Big Noise supports a combined 3,500 children and young people across Scotland. It is a high-quality music education and social change programme, where the symphony orchestra becomes a community which supports children and young people to gain vital life skills such as confidence, resilience, creativity, and aspiration.

Through music and nurturing relationships, from infancy to adulthood, Big Noise supports participants’ wellbeing and helps them reach their full potential and aims to strengthen community ties and tackle inequalities.

Independent evaluation of the Big Noise model has shown that it helps children improve their concentration and language skills, enhance their problem-solving and decision-making, increase their self-esteem and develop strong friendships and support networks.

A study by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health of Sistema’s Raploch programme found that 98 per cent of participants achieved a positive post-school destination, compared to 84 per cent of young people of a similar background who did not attend.

Young people who attended Big Noise were more likely to be in employment after leaving school than their counterparts, with 42 per cent of attendees in employment as opposed to 30 per cent of non-attendees.

Big Noise centres promote community cohesion and inclusivity, with community members joining choir and orchestra groups, attending concerts, and participating in classes like Baby Noise and Little Noise, which provide a social space for parents and carers of babies and young children, reducing isolation.

Additionally, Big Noise reaches out to local care homes, providing music performances and sing-a-longs for residents.

The Scottish Government has invested in Big Noise for over a decade. Earlier this year, it committed increased support for 2023/24 to ensure the sustainability of the programmes in an increasingly challenging funding context.

The organisation also continues to raise significant funding from private trusts, foundations, lotteries, corporations, and individuals.

Maggie Cunningham, interim chief executive of Sistema Scotland, said:

“We are delighted that so many children and young people took part and benefitted from Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise summer holiday clubs.

“Big Noise programmes have a range of benefits for participants that go beyond music tuition, including building confidence and resilience in young people and helping them reach their full potential.

“That is why we are pleased to offer our holiday clubs to ensure continuity during breaks between school terms.

“These clubs provide families free childcare during the holidays and healthy meals and snacks for young participants, which is more important than ever given the ongoing cost of living crisis.”

Ezekiel, whose two children attended the summer club at Big Noise Torry, said:

“I was really happy that my children were able to attend Big Noise over the summer.

“They were both really excited to take part and were very comfortable spending time there.

“The support they got from the staff was great, and it was great that the kids had somewhere to go when they weren’t in school.”

Another parent, whose three children attended the summer club holiday club at Big Noise Govanhill, said:

“My three children attended this summer and they so looked forward to the music they were going to play every day.

“Sometimes I take them to the park in the holidays, but they usually complain about feeling bored. I heard none of that this summer and they loved the extra activities at Big Noise, especially the craft time.

“Normally a day in the holidays is tough financially with three meals and two snacks so the summer club saved us lots of money.”

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