TV vote holds key to Lottery funding

Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

The Befriending Scheme has been shortlisted for ITV’s The People’s Projects public vote, which could see it receive up to £50,000 of Big Lottery funding.

A songwriting project launched by the Sudbury charity gives vulnerable 16 to 25 year olds the chance to write, perform and record their own music.

Users, especially those with learning disabilities, may find it hard to express themselves or find that few are willing to listen to them.

The music project gives them the tools, confidence and a safe environment to explore their creativity through writing lyrics, collaborating and performing in front of their peers.

Winning the funding would enable the scheme to offer this service across the whole of the county.

In February, ITV cameras were on hand for a special session in Bury St Edmunds, where young people from all over Suffolk came together to make music, write songs and make new friends.

Shirley Moore, CEO of The Befriending Scheme, said: “We are looking forward to showing the ITV audience how our music project helps to harness creativity and raise aspirations.

“The real bonus is that it also helps to beat loneliness and isolation, building crucial social skills.

“Often, the young people we work with aren’t given an opportunity to show just what they can achieve. Winning this funding will do just that for so many.”

The online vote begins on March 20 and runs until April 3, with the project airing during ITV’s local evening news on March 24.

To vote for The Befriending Scheme, go to www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk.