The Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is supporting small local businesses and charities  through crowdfunding, to help them meet the challenges imposed on their trading conditions by the pandemic.

“We believe in the power of music to bring positive change into all our lives and we need your help to bring music back into our community”.

Stirring words from Dorset’s Coda Music Trust, described as a place to ‘learn, train and develop’, using music to support and enrich the lives of some of the county’s most vulnerable residents. Through participation, music therapy and community, they offer transformational services to all ages.

As described by the charity;

“Music is undeniably a force for good. Whether in the listening, or in the playing; wherever in the world it is found, it has never been anything other than both pleasurable and beneficial. It uplifts the spirit and, created in company, will engender real comradeship.” 

Like all services, the pandemic has impacted the fundamental principles of how the Trust can care for its community. To be available in person and to be physically present or among others, was deemed essential to their work therefore the implications of the coronavirus on vulnerable people especially, have been significant. The Coda Music Trust has had to adapt quickly to develop their service in a way which meets the government’s requirements and the needs of its community. As you might imagine, the solution of online Zoom sessions have formed new foundations, upon which their community can be re-built.

With an original target of just £5,000, the Trust ran a crowdfunding campaign to raise awareness of their plight and attempt to collect the funds necessary to adapt and reformat their processes. With over £10,000 raised from 103 supporters, £5,000 of which was supplied through +Extra funding from the ‘Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’, the Coda Music Trust has successfully managed to diversify to meet the needs of their community in the new social landscape that we find ourselves in today.

Phil Hallet, the project’s lead, explained that the funds were used to support both online and face to face practices.

To be able to deliver music sessions face to face we invested in the necessary PPE equipment, from masks and visors to perspex screens and anti bac sprays and wipes, even a steam cleaner! For online work we needed equipment like tablet and laptop stands, and some microphones and amplifiers to help our staff to deliver projects properly.”

Three new approaches stand out

Beautiful Sounds – a weekly session with adults with disabilities, comprising online workshops held across Zoom with both their regular crowd and the new members that they can now fit in.

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The Kids online Ukulele Band – sessions for 6-11 year olds, helping young people to learn basic chords and jam with their peers.

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Gramophone Time – a series of YouTube programmes for older people in their homes, using music from the 1940s and 1950s, pictures and prompts they can stir long lost memories.

The Health and Happiness Choir – practice their breathing and vocal exercises, singing their hearts out remotely from their own homes with friends online. 

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With these new initiatives, the Coda Music Trust can reach more people and their usefulness will continue in their development and enjoyment long after the pandemic has ended.

If you have a small business or charity in Dorset that is seeking to develop their offering to cope with the challenging trading conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, then start crowdfunding now and apply to upto £5,000 in +Extra funding.