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At a time when vital funding for local charities is so much under threat, it’s heart-warming to have news of a very welcome award from a national organisation

LLoyds Tsb Foundation for England and Wales has played a big part in Orb’s success from the very beginning.  The foundation is one of the UK’s leading independent grant-making trusts.  They support smaller local charities who help disadvantaged adults to play a fuller role in their communities, and they provided part of the money that initially got Orb up and running.

The foundation focuses on the individual needs of local communities and also provides ‘second stage funding’ to support organisations which are looking to innovate, to expand or improve their services. As part of this commitment they have come up trumps for Orb once again, awarding two years of funding which will help us to develop new ways to support service users.  One immediate bonus arising from this is that we can now offer a continued period of employment to Josh Box, our studio manager.

Josh joined us as a graduate from Leeds University who wanted to use his musical expertise to help others.  Originally a volunteer, his valuable work led to an offer of employment and he now plays a vital role at Orb working with vulnerable adults, teaching and helping them to make and record music.

“I’m delighted to know I can continue my work here,” says Josh.  ‘I find it so rewarding working with our clients, seeing them growing and developing as they gain confidence in their creativity.”

Josh

Josh and volunteer Ric working together at one of Orb's live Community Events

Josh is working towards an MA in Community Music, so his work at Orb reflects his passion for music, not only in its own right, but also in its social impact.

“I’ve seen people come to us feeling quite isolated, without any active role in their community.  Working with music, progressing both in skills and self-confidence they’re not only enriching their own lives but also gaining a sense of inclusion in society, often to the point where they feel able to return to work.”

Music is increasingly recognised as a very positive way of helping people with mental health issues.  Research recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has urged the NHS to offer music therapy alongside conventional treatment to people who find it difficult to express complex thoughts and feelings.

With this  funding, the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales is helping Orb to further extend its commitment to encouraging wellbeing through creativity.