The North West is a large region which encompasses a great variety of circumstances. Cumbria is home to the second largest area of National Parks in England, the highest mountain (Scafell Pike) and the largest lake (Windemere). The north of the region experiences rural isolation, while Liverpool and Manchester and their outlying satellite areas see a great deal of urban deprivation. Many coastal areas are very deprived, including Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Morecambe and Blackpool.
Thirty nine percent of children in Manchester live in poverty. Manchester, Knowsley, Liverpool and Blackpool are all in the top 20 local authority districts with the highest proportions of children in income deprivation.
The North West has many workless households, especially Liverpool which has the highest percentage in the country at 30.3%. The region also has the highest number of looked after children (in care homes or foster care) in England.
Lydia has a rare brain disorder that means she can’t walk or talk. She’s had to spend a lot of her life so far in hospital. The Songbirds project has helped Lydia learn to communicate with her family through music.
Sian has had to spend a lot of time in hospital as a teenager. A Youth Music project helped her forget about her health worries and gave her a new belief in her abilities.
Jordyn is transgender, and had a really tough time in school. Things got so bad at one stage that they attempted to take their own life. But being part of a music project has transformed their confidence.
14-year-old Joanna wasn’t sure what to expect when she walked into a music studio for the first time. But after taking part in the Here Come the Grrrls project, she’s learned new skills and now feels confident about pursuing a potential career in music.
The Lancashire Youth Vocal Ensemble (LYVE) programme is run by More Music. It began in 2013 and gives young vocalists (aged 14-21) from across Lancashire the chance to perform together and develop their singing skills, whatever their background or previous experience.
Estate of Mind
This project gave young artists from some of Manchester’s most deprived areas the chance to record and release their own tracks, including this online collaboration with musicians from Nairobi.
The Haze are one of several young bands who’ve benefited from The Noise Project. Run by Merseyside Youth Association, it offers free access to recording facilities, instruments and tuition for many young people who might not otherwise get the chance to make music.