One of the incredible initiatives MAC offers is the ‘MAC Makes Music’ programme. This award-winning programme, funded by Youth Music, is focused on providing innovative and inclusive music making opportunities for children and young people with limited access to music. MAC Makes Music aims to strategically influence musical inclusion through local Music Education Hubs, schools, and community groups.
This year, to support families during lockdown, MAC Makes Music have worked with Music Lead-ers and local charities to create and deliver free Musical Activity Packs for children whilst at home.
FareShare Midlands was one of several organisations that MAC Makes Music partnered with to help distribute the packs to children with limited resources. FareShare Midlands provide food support to over 500 charitable organisations across the Midlands, including food banks and schools that directly support vulnerable children and families living in food poverty. Over the last 3 weeks, the FareShare Midlands’ team in Nechells, Birmingham helped to distribute a to-tal of 90 activity packs to families most in need.
“MAC Makes Music is all about musical inclusion for children and young people. When the pan-demic hit we moved most of our opportunities online, but we were concerned about children who do not have access to internet or technology. Thankfully we were able to repurpose gen-erous funding from Youth Music and the Birmingham Music Education Partnership to produce an initial 150 musical activity packs that could be posted out directly to families in the West Mid-lands. When offering these trial packs to local schools and charities, they got snapped up with-in an hour, this is when we truly became aware of the need. In total, we have produced 650 activity packs and sought the help of organisations and charities that could help us get the packs to families who needed them most and were delighted that FareShare Midlands were able to help us in this mission. We hope to develop our links with FareShare Midlands to ensure those who access food banks know about free musical opportunities too.” – Holly Radford, Pro-ducer, MAC Makes Music
One of the schools that have benefited from this link-up between MAC and FareShare Midlands is the Christi Academy in Birmingham. "The MAC Makes Music activity packs have been really wonderful, they've gone down a treat with our children. We've had lots of feedback from the children. To mention just a few, Sophie aged 8 said "Thank you, I loved my present" and Mikey aged 9 said the thing he liked the most was, "Making noise" and that he'd like to "start reading more about the history of instruments". It's amazing to see how the packs have sparked new interests for the children, especially during a time where they've perhaps not had a chance to explore many new activities. The packs have gone out to some of our most vulnerable families and they've all said how much they love them. Thank you MAC Makes Music and FareShare Midlands, these packs really have brought lots of joy to our children these past few weeks." - Sarah, Corpus Christi Academy Ambassador, Birmingham.
Laura, FareShare Midlands’ Development Manager commented on the act of kindness and how organisations coming together can benefit in more ways than one.
“We were more than happy to help a great organisation as MAC. We support a lot of charities across the West Midlands that are helping vulnerable families and children that have severely suffered during the lockdown periods, due to school closures and having limited access to digi-tal resources. The packs have been greatly received by our member groups and their benefi-ciaries, giving them support in an additional area which has complimented our regular food support. We’d like to thank the team at MAC Makes Music for giving us the opportunity to help support our members in a different way” - Laura Spencer, Development Manager, FareShare Midlands
The musical activity packs went out to children being supported by groups across Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Worcester.