People who have experienced homelessness are now enjoying the benefits of music, thanks to a donation of specialist musical equipment. Residents at Changing Lives-supported accommodation have received £7000 worth of musical instruments and equipment to help them stay safe and well during the lockdown.

The donation, made by online music store Gear4Music, included an assortment of musical instruments from tambourines and drums, to keyboards, guitars and even DJ decks. The equipment has been delivered to 13 different Changing Lives’ accommodation projects across the North East and Yorkshire.

For many people, lockdown is challenging but it is particularly difficult for residents living on their own, who do not have access to things like a TV or a mobile phone. During the outbreak, it is vital that people are able to stay safe and well while they self-isolate and socially distance. By providing musical instruments, Gear4Music has provided residents with a way to stay busy and entertained during lockdown.

Nathan Killeya, Employment Coach at Changing Lives, made the appeal for donations. He said: “Lockdown has been really challenging for many of the people we support, as well as the staff who are trying to ensure everyone is social distancing. For some of our residents, they are understandably bored as even though they have now received accommodation they are being asked to stay in their rooms with nothing to do each day.

“This donation will have a huge impact and hopefully alleviate the stress and boredom of lockdown. Music is great therapy and there has never been a better time for our residents to have access to amazing equipment like this. One huge positive out of this crisis has definitely been the community spirit.”

Changing Lives provides specialist support for people facing challenging times and accommodation to those that have experienced or are at risk of homelessness. Projects help residents to gain skills and confidence to live healthily, independently and with improved wellbeing.

The projects that received a musical donation included Union Terrace in York, which supports 39 residents; Hedley House in County Durham which provides supported accommodation for young people; Brims House in Gateshead which supports Veterans; and Ridley Villas which is specialist service for women and children.

Andrew Wass, Chief Executive Officer for Gear4music said: “Playing musical instruments provides unique mental wellbeing benefits. For the people that Changing Lives helps, these difficult times are especially challenging. Music can make a real difference, and we’re very pleased to be able to provide these resources.”

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, Changing Lives has seen unprecedented demand for its support services. If you are in a position to offer support, please consider making a donation to the Covid-19 Emergency Appeal, or visit the website to find out what items are most needed.

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