The South West is largest English region in terms of area, spanning from Gloucestershire in the north to Cornwall at the southern point. It also has the longest coastline in the country.
Rural isolation is prevalent, with more people living in villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings than in any other English region. There are few opportunities for young people, especially between the ages of 18-35, so many tend to leave for other parts of the country and further afield.
Mum-of-two Helen had a tough childhood and then had to escape an abusive relationship. Since attending music-making sessions she’s grown in confidence and learned to laugh with her children again.
Like many young people in long-term foster care, Alex, aged 16, struggled with anxiety and confidence. He’d been bullied and had few friends, and became angry easily. Singing in the Carefree Music Choir allowed him to “be who I really am”.
Joe has Cerebral Palsy and doesn’t speak. A Youth Music project gave him a chance to make music in the way he wanted to, without his communication aid.
Listen to this amazing track written and performed by Shanae and Jasmine from the ‘Music Minds’ project. Run by The Music Works in Gloucestershire, Music Minds takes a music-led approach to reducing mental health issues in teenagers. Video: Barney Witts, Fluxx Films
Dean started out by taking part in a project run by B Sharp, who offer music making opportunities for children and young people across East Devon and West Dorset. He’s now developed into a music leader, sharing what he’s learned with other young people.
Music at The Edge
Young people from the Music at The Edge project, run by Brixham Youth Enquiry Service in Devon, have recorded a brilliant cover version of the song ‘Banjo’ (originally performed by country music group Rascal Flatts).