We've moved!

This donation page is on the old Big Give website. Please go to theBigGive.org.uk to find current campaigns and opportunities to double your donation.

If you have any queries on the changes, please email us at info@thebiggive.org.uk.

Project information

Wellbeing through Music at Bethlem and Maudsley

Young people come to Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital from all over the UK to receive treatment for mental health illnesses. CLS musicians have the unique ability to engage these young people and others in need in interactive music activities contributing to their overall mental health and wellbeing.

September 2017 - July 2020

Charity information: City of London Sinfonia

City of London Sinfonia logo
  • Need


    Living with a mental illness can make social interaction with others challenging and being away from friends and family can also make it hard to adjust to a new environment.


    Our Bethlem and Maudsley project is part of our Wellbeing through Music programme at CLS. The aim of our Wellbeing programme is to build people's self-esteem and social skills through positive interpersonal relationships, to decrease anxiety and stress by channeling creative energy into making music together. Singing songs, playing instruments and creating new songs together has already demonstrated a tangible, positive impact.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve people's musical skills


    » Singing, listening, performance, composition and lyric writing

    What success will look like

    Teachers and students provide verbal feedback to tell us how their music skills have improved.

    Aim 2

    Increase the confidence and self-esteem of young people


    » Give all people the opportunity to play an instrument, sing a solo/duet, and then perform for their parents and family members

    What success will look like

    Teachers will express how music has made a difference to each young person's confidence and self-esteem

    Aim 3

    Improve social skills


    » People work together to compose music and form their very own song
    » They take turns listening, playing and contributing ideas

    What success will look like

    Both the young people and the teachers will comment on the way music has brought everyone together

    Aim 4

    Improve confidence and skills of teachers to incorporate music in their classroom activities


    » Teachers are involved in the class's music-making activities
    » Teachers learn new skills to engage the children with music.

    What success will look like

    Teachers will tell us how they are using music in the classroom when we are not leading music activities

    Aim 5

    Improve the music sector's understanding of using music in mental health settings


    » An external evaluator will tell us what we are doing right, and make suggestions for where we can improve. Then we'll share these findings.

    What success will look like

    We share our findings at conferences, through blogs and at fundraising and wider sector events.

  • Impact


    We hope to create a legacy of music-making at the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School, so that music becomes an integral part of a young person's stay at the hospital. The young people create audio samples and music recorded in a physical object to be shared at public events, bringing awareness to the impact of music on mental health. This ties into CLS's belief that music has the power to transform people across all areas of society.


    1. Each young person has different behavioural needs, so we are in constant communication with their teachers and involve them closely in our activities because they understand the young people's needs best.
    2. Our musicians have different levels of experience working in mental health settings, so we provide training that builds their confidence and understanding of the environment.


    Every 6 months, donors will receive an update on the project, with a description of what went on and audio or photography as it's available. The report will include this project as well other projects within the wider Wellbeing through Music programme.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,450 1 Musician Collaborate with participants and workshop leaders
      £3,000 Music leader Leads music-making workshops for the whole group
      £3,900 Music workshops and concert Planning, scheduling, meeting, monitoring and evaluating by CLS staff
      £900 Materials Sheet music and instruments
      £1,000 Mental health training Musicians learn how to work in a mental health setting
      £4,000 External evaluation An evaluator tells us what we are doing right, and how we can improve each year
      £5,750 Project management Supporting the costs of the Director of Participation and organisational overhead costs
  • Background


    The Bethlem Royal Hospital is a specialist psychiatric hospital in Bromley, London. It was established in 1247 and is Europe's first and oldest institution to specialise in mental illnesses, with approx. 350 beds. Today, the hospital includes specialist services such as the National Psychosis Unit, an Adolescent Unit for 12-18 year olds across the UK, as well as its own art gallery and Museum of the Mind. Wider Wellbeing through Music projects happen across London.


    An average of 60 young people aged 8-18 will benefit per year of this three-year project. Their teachers will also benefit from the increased skillset, as will CLS musicians and music leader. Over 2000 people benefit from CLS's Wellbeing through Music programme as a whole.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    CLS is dedicated to bringing music-making activities to people who wouldn't normally have access to it, but would benefit the most. We were one of the first UK orchestras to establish a year-round programme dedicated to making music in schools, hospitals and communities, and we currently spend over 150 days in the community every year making music with a wide range of people, now reaching over 10,000 per annum.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Gawain Hewitt

    As music leader, Gawain encourages people to participate in music activities and records their contribution with music technology.

    Petra Woodford

    Assistant Headteacher at the hospital school, Petra is the key link between CLS and the teachers and young people

    Fiona Lambert

    As Director of Participation at CLS, Fiona liaises with the music leader, musicians and teachers at the school

Our young people are very individual, and often struggle being part of a group. Music facilitates those social skills that we’re trying to teach in class: listen, take turns, wait. In CLS’s music sessions, you could see that in evidence all the time.

Petra, Assistant Headteacher, Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School