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Hertfordshire Music Service Music and Mental Health Project

Summer 2012

Hertfordshire Music Service delivered 9 Community Djembe Drum workshops between June and July 2012 to 94 learners who were predominantly Mental Health Service Users.

We undertook this work in partnership with Guideposts Trust, Mind in Mid Herts, Viewpoint and Turning Point, Stevenage. We believe the workshops offered a very accessible form of learning to their service users, supporting team building, raising of mood and consciousness and improving concentration skills. In addition to service users, staff also joined in the sessions and commented they had benefited greatly also.

The organisations were very useful in helping us access the service users, by hosting workshops in their premises within their existing programmes. (They also very kindly supported by helping service users complete enrolment forms before workshops.)

We were delighted to be able to develop awareness within partner organisations of the benefits of using music to improve mood, as it was a good progression for the project manager’s Mental Health CPD  funded by LSIS in Spring 2012. We are grateful also for the support of the HAFLS Inclusion and Diversity group in providing us with a platform to promote the project to the partner organisations.

Many of the learners said they had greatly enjoyed the sessions and hoped that we would offer further sessions. Some expressed interest in shadowing our workshop leaders in order to develop workshop leadership skills themselves, and we are very keen to offer them a longer course based on this, in order also to support sustainable music making opportunities by service users.

We were delighted to be able to contacted by Mind in Mid Herts to ask if we could offer longer courses in their centres next year based around Drumming, Music ICT and Songwriting, and hope we will be able to arrange this.

We found that workshops delivered where service users are already attending engaged learners better than those set up in venues where they are not used to attending, and hope to build on this for future work.

We hope to showcase outcomes online, and to also provide links for learners to discover more about Djembe drumming, workshop leadership, and to take part in more musical activities.

We very much hope we may be able to form a central Hertfordshire Mass Djembe group to perform at local festivals at which we have developed links through our other projects. (Kaleidoscope/Rhythms of the World).

We hope to secure further funding to support work with organisations supporting service users for 2012-13, and also hope to promote our music workshops as a means of supporting personal wellbeing, family and community cohesion more widely. We believe the accessibility of our sessions will enable organisations to promote awareness of mental health issues within the wider HCC well-being agenda, and were delighted to be contacted by community action Hertsmere to ask if we could offer a workshop as part of their World Mental Health Day activities..


NEWS 2013

Community Wellbeing event proves MOST successful

Hertfordshire County Council’s Community Wellbeing team are currently working to develop partnerships between organisations working with people with physical disabilities and/or long-term conditions.

To date, 23 such organisations have come together to form a consortia - Meaningful Occupations Solutions Together (MOST). MOST aims to help organisations work in partnership to develop their services in line with identified need, and enhance lives through improving access to work, learning and volunteering. They also intend to ensure service users’ opinions and voices are heard throughout the county, through the creation of a MOST User Network.

On 15 May, MOST held a market style event to showcase what is currently available for service users in Hertfordshire and learn what else could be delivered. Stalls offered information and advice on subjects including learning and work, support and equipment services, and Hertfordshire's new eMarketplace – our one stop online shop for support and care services – attracted a lot of interest.

The event also saw a musical performance by the Daylight Club – a social club for adults with disabilities and a member of MOST – as part of the Music for a Generation initiative. Music for A Generation is an exciting music project, delivered in partnership by HCC’s Wellbeing Team, Hertfordshire Music Service and the Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service. It demonstrates how music can improve the health and wellbeing of people of all ages, through the five ways to wellbeing, and is open to all service users within the MOST consortia.

Photos of the event can be found on the MOST Facebook page, which has been created by two service users.

If you would like to learn more about Community Wellbeing initiatives or get involved contact