Youth Music is a national charity which funds hundreds of music-making projects of every style and genre each year. The charity helps children and young people in tough circumstances who wouldn't otherwise get the chance to make music.
Young people facing difficulties in their lives are often the ones who get the most out of music-making. Children with disabilities. Young carers. Kids struggling with drugs, alcohol or their mental wellbeing. Young people excluded from school and society. Music is one of the many things they miss out on.
Youth Music projects help young people develop musically, but there are huge personal and social benefits too. Writing lyrics can enable a bereaved teenager to express their grief. Communities divided by prejudice or gangs can be brought together to perform. Making hip-hop beats can help a kid understand maths in a way they never grasped at school.
People's Postcode Lottery players have helped to support young people like Jordyn. Jordyn is a 16-year-old singer and guitarist from Warrington.
Jordyn is transgender and prefers to be referred to as 'they' rather than 'he' or 'she'. Jordyn had a difficult time at school and reached such a low point that they attempted to take their own life. Jordyn had faced bullying from fellow pupils. "People just weren't listening to what I was saying in lessons. I'd get people shouting 'tranny' and 'faggot' down the hallways at me," says Jordyn. Eventually they decided it would be better for their mental health to leave school.
Fortunately, Jordyn connected with the local Music Blast project funded by Youth Music. Since joining the music sessions in January 2016, Jordyn's confidence has soared – both musically and socially. Jordyn now performs live almost every week, playing for crowds of up to 500 people. They've given presentations to schools and conferences about their experiences, and even organised their own fundraising concert.
Jordyn is also sitting GCSEs this year and planning to train as a group leader with the Music Blast project. Jordyn says, "I’ve started songwriting a lot more, I’ve become more motivated in general because now I know I have this group of people stood behind me that want me to do well."