Project information

The Zone Club

Through music making The Zone Club gives learning disabled young people and adults the opportunity to create something of their own, to have a voice and be heard. It aims to develop the participants' musical abilities and performing skills, individuality and ability to express thoughts and emotions

July 2012 - July 2015

Charity information: Wiltshire Music Centre

Wiltshire Music Centre logo
  • Need


    Leaving school is a daunting prospect for any teenager but especially hard for those with learning disabilities and limited opportunities to express themselves or form friendships. They are isolated, without access to creative activities that other school leavers take for granted.. Care provideres say 'Zone Club helps participants to be active community members, to meet other people challenges their imagination and the community to be accepting and inclusive.' We have a waiting list for places.


    Through monthly clubs in 3 locations we enable disabled young people and adults to become more active participants in society helping them to achieve their potential and equip them for fulfiled adult lives. Participants will learn to be uninhibited, imaginative and creative , expressing this through music and songwriting. They develop emotionally gain in self awareness and confidence as well as social skills and learning to respect and be supportive of others in the group.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Develop music abilities and performing skills


    » Skills developed through intensive sessions with experienced professional musicians and performing opportunities on a professional platform

    What success will look like

    Success will be performing after 10 club sessions including as part of the Special Schools Festival and a clear development of musical abilities over time. Some mentor younger ones

    Aim 2

    Develop individuality and decision making skills


    » The monthly sessions are participant led. They inform the decision making process for the contents of the club

    What success will look like

    Success will be putting forward their preferences vocally or by gesture. They discuss each session and agree what they will do next session. They also film the sessions to inform

    Aim 3

    Support participants in developing communication skills and ability to express thoughts and emotions


    » Through creating their own music and songs, they learn to express themselves

    What success will look like

    Success will be expressing their thoughts and ideas both during the club sessions through song writing and transferring those skills into every day life.

    Aim 4

    Building and developing mutually supportive relationships


    » Through interacting with other participants on a regular basis

    What success will look like

    Success will be creating long term relationships with other club members and communicating through means such as a safe socail networking website between sessions (being built)

    Aim 5

    Enable participants to develop the resources needed to face new challenges in their lives


    » Through developing their commuunication and social skills they will be better prepared for adult life. We will signpost to partner organisations

    What success will look like

    Success will be participants using skills learned in their lives, greater integration into the community, going on training courses and getting jobs where appropriate.

  • Impact


    Long term this project gives opportunities to learning disabled adults that are in very limited supply. It provides inspiring opportunities to engage with creative activities. We monitor the participants' development at each monthly session and there is an external evaluation every year which informs the strategic development and demonstrates the success of the project. It has been hailed as a ground breaking project demonstrating best practice. We are now aiming to support 3 clubs..


    Failure to find participants - we send info to local agencies and organisations and have a waiting list.
    Lack of transport in a rural area - we use 'people and places' programme to share transport and budget to pay for it
    Illness - people with these conditions are susceptible to illness. Website information enables them to communicate and keep in touch. We film sessions so non-attenders can keep up to date.


    Donors will receive a 6 monthly email report on the ongoing and upcoming activities, success of the sessions and any changes that have been made. Donors will receive the formal external evaluation report at the end of the year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £95,650

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      Amount Heading Description
      £35,300 Artists fees 11 artists and 1 trainee, 3 clubs, each 1 day pm for 10 months
      £7,190 venue hire/refreshments hire of Wiltshire Music Centre, venues in Somerset and Salisbury Arts Centre
      £10,800 Project Administrator Admin of 3 clubs, liaison with members, setting up clubs and office space
      £7,702 Equipment, travel, go and see Travel for participants in Somerset, the opportunity for participants to visit other disability arts
      £6,000 Evaluation/CPD project evaluation, artists development, parent/carer development for continuity bewteen sessions
      £6,325 marketing/advertising marketing and advertising for 3 clubs
      £6,000 website development ongoing development and administration of the website
      £16,333 management and partnership management for the 3 clubs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Participation fees £11,340 Guaranteed
    marketing/advertising in kind £4,900 Guaranteed
    admin office space in kind £3,600 Guaranteed
    project development/management in kind £4,200 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Wiltshire and Somerset are rural counties and many of the participants are rurally and socially isolated, making the challenging transition to adulthood and development as an adult all the more difficult for them. In Wiltshire 50% of the population live in rural communities spread across 95% of the geographical area. The Somerset club has to provide transport and use a number of different venues to overcome rural isolation issues and encourage participation.


    The project is for learning disabled young people and adults aged 16+ of mixed ethnicity and gender. Participants have a range of learning and physical disabilities ranging from the autistic spectrum disorders or Downs Syndrome to Cerebral Palsy and profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) - the latter (15%) are wheel chair users effectively excluded from main stream provision. We will offer skill sharing to parents and carers helping to sustain the impact of each session for members

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since opening 15 years ago WMC has run over 18 projects with learning disabled children and young adults, including the music club for 3 years. We also run a biennial Special Schools Festival for the Special Schools in Wiltshire. Openstorytellers in Somerset works with people with learning disabilities to develop communication skills and enable involvement in the community. Salisbuty Arts Centre has been working with this samecommunity through MotivArt and La Folia Orchestra for 3 years

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alex Lupo

    Musician and highly skilled practitioner. An associate of Drake Music and was musician in residence at Penrose SEN school in Somerset.

    Bob Heath

    Project Leader and trainer with the other artists. A qualified music therapist with over 20 years experience working with learning disabled people.

    Pete McPhail

    Project Leader and trainer with the other artists. A qualified music therapist with over 20 years experience working with learning disabled people.

    Tom Mauger

    Musician and highly skilled practitioner. A professional singer/songwriter/MC, has worked in this field for over 10 years.