Transforming Communities

Vulnerable Young People Future Winners of Research Support

Live Music Now is one of 13 organisations awarded funds from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG), sharing more than £5.5 million in grants to support new research projects which will benefit vulnerable young people.

The money comes from BIG's Research programme, set up to fund medical and social research projects across the UK.

Live Music Now SW has been awarded £361,121 for a three-year research project, which will explore whether music could be used in the youth justice system to reduce re-offending and improve the health of young offenders. Music is already used in many other health areas as a way to encourage people to be more creative and follow a more positive path in life.

The three-year research project will be based in South West England and involve researchers from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of the West of England, Bristol. It will benefit more than 120 participants across six youth justice facilities.

Patsy Lang, Project Manager at Live Music Now SW said: "At Live Music Now we have always been aware of the immense power music has as a universal language, with the capacity to reach into peoples' hearts and minds. We constantly see music opening up lines of communication and helping to establish confidence and identity. It has a role in the rebuilding of broken lives.

"We are very excited about the opportunity the Big Lottery Fund has now given us to work over a much longer period of time than we have with our previous projects. Working with the University of Western England, we will be able to formally document the effects over time that working with music has on the young offender. By following individuals' lives after our music programmes end, we will be able to see and document how their pathways have been changed by musical interventions. We hope to uncover new aspects of musical influence beyond our current experience over the three year study."

Sarah Derbyshire, Executive Director of Live Music Now, said: "We are delighted that the Big Lottery Fund is supporting this important research, which will shape our own future policy and practice, and have an influence sector-wide."

Sir Clive Booth, Big Lottery Fund Chair, said: "We are very pleased to be supporting these very worthwhile research projects, which could make such a big difference to many children and young people, and help build a brighter future for them. There is no limit to the future benefits we could see from social research projects like these."

Notes to Editors


  • Live Music Now is the largest provider of live music to the UK's welfare, educational, justice and health sectors, with a unique resource of specially trained musicians.
  • For over thirty years, LMN has been putting into practice the visionary ideals of its founders, Yehudi Menuhin and Ian Stoutzker; bringing the joy and inspiration of live music to those who have limited access to conventional music-making, and helping to develop the careers of young talented musicians.
  • LMN's music programmes (comprising over 3,000 events each year) deliver social, emotional, physical and educational benefits to participants of all ages and abilities through the promotion of:

Active Engagement – supporting social cohesion, teamwork, participation;

Life Skills – developing confidence, communication, transferable skills;

Health and Wellbeing – effecting positive improvements in mental and physical health;

Professional Development – training musicians and staff in the welfare, educational, justice and health sectors in delivery of music outreach.


  • The UK wide Research programme is awarding grants to voluntary organisations that work with researchers to run high quality medical and social research projects. Grants for up to five years of between £10,000 and £500,000 are available to charities and voluntary sector organisations, with up to £1 million for exceptional projects.
  • The programme is being administered by Momenta and was supported by Third Sector First. Momenta works for the public sector to turn policy into practice by offering a range of programme management services, including research management, knowledge transfer, best practice, fund management and behaviour change programmes. Its programmes reach businesses, public sector organisations, the third sector, stakeholders and the general public. Third Sector First is a collaboration of specialists in research and social policy, working primarily in the public and 'third' sectors. It is linked through past or current membership to several of the UK's leading university research centres and has conducted project evaluations in many subject areas, including health, social care, community safety, childcare and addictions.
  • Round 1 of BIG's Research programme consisted of 24 grants worth £7.7million, announced in October 2008. In July 2009 Big invested an extra £4.5 million into its Research programme bringing the total available for social, medical and socio-medical research projects across the UK to £29.5 million.
  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £23 billion has now been raised and more than 317,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
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