For the second year in a row, City of London Sinfonia (CLS) has been selected to participate in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2017, the UK’s largest match funding campaign. Last year, donors like you helped us raise over £23,000 for our work in the community. With your support, we are able to bring our inspiring music activities to over 15,000 people every year. Thanks to support from The Childhood Trust and donors like you, our project will reach young people at Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School.

What happens during the Christmas Challenge?

Donations made to our project via between Tuesday 28 November (12pm) and Tuesday 5 December (12pm) will be doubled during the campaign. If you would like to support our work this year, we highly recommend doing so during the Christmas Challenge when your donation will be doubled and make even more of a difference to us.

What do I need to do?

  1. Add a calendar reminder to your diary for 12pm on Tuesday 28 November including this link:
  2. Have your 3D secure card details ready when you make your donation.

Big Give Christmas Challenge 2017

What project are we raising money for?

A year's worth of music projects and activities with young people at Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School, where we will work with children and adolescents with a range of acute psychiatric, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

'The arts can keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived.'

- All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry Report 2017

The Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School has four departments split over two hospital sites. At Bethlem there are two departments: Primary/Middle and the Adolescent/Post Sixteen with an age range of 6-18 across departments. At the Maudsley site there is an Adolescent Unit and the Intensive Treatment Programme which teaches the young people on the eating disorder ward.

Over the next three years, our players and staff will deliver a range of creative projects, developing the children's musical skills through singing, listening, performances, composition and lyric writing.

This will provide them with opportunities to work with others and express themselves, whilst building their confidence and self-esteem.

It's challenging enough to be a young person finding your place in the world. There are social pressures to respond to and an identity to be formed, at a time when the body and mind are changing rapidly. Struggling with mental health issues on top of this only makes it more difficult--adding extra stress and anxiety, making it harder to build healthy interpersonal relationships, and lowering self-esteem.

This project, as part of our Wellbeing through Music programme at CLS, builds young people's self-esteem, social skills through positive interpersonal relationships, and decreases anxiety and stress by channeling creative energy into making music together. Singing songs, playing instruments and then creating new songs together has already demonstrated a tangible, positive impact on young people at the school.

"Our young people are very individual, and often struggle being part of a group. Music facilitates those social skills that we’re trying to teach in class: listen, take turns, wait. In CLS’s music sessions, you could see that in evidence all the time, with the way they came together and shared. They learn to cooperate because the end product is so exciting and they get that sense of fulfilment from playing, listening and interacting with music."

- Petra, Assistant Headteacher, Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School

Read more about our Big Give project: Music at Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School

Help us spread the word

We want to reach as many people as possible over the course of our campaign, and we need your help to do so. Join and share our Facebook event and retweet one of our #ChristmasChallenge17 tweets to help us tell the world about the project we're raising money for.