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Project information

Never Failed Me Yet

Help us bring free weekly music sessions to street homeless people through a project which will engage participants with over a hundred hours of music-making, enabling them to connect with support services and make long-lasting changes to their lives.

February 2019 - June 2019

Charity information: Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Academy of St Martin in the Fields logo
  • Need


    Frontline day centres provide immediate short term services to alleviate the physical hardships of those sleeping rough-including hot breakfasts, showers, laundry, clothes, haircuts, luggage storage and mail collection. Our challenge is to engage people with the services that will result in long-term changes so that they no longer need day centres; mental health support services, advice and referral services which assist with accommodation, jobs and benefits, and drugs and alcohol support.


    Engagement with our project encourages people to connect with the centre, which leads to the accessing of support services.

    The results are tangible: following on from our intervention in 2017, of the 30 people that we worked with, 17 people found work and 25 people found accommodation.

    Added to this the personal, social and therapeutic benefits of singing and participation with music-making alleviates isolation and lack of activity and provides relief for people with chaotic lives.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To enable at least 34 people to access accommodation and at least 50 to find employment.


    » Enjoyment of our weekly sessions will encourage people to move on with their lives in a productive way by making connections with key workers.
    » Each group member will be assigned a key worker to work with to access services such as help with employment, addiction support and accommodation.

    What success will look like

    The West London Mission and The Connection at St Martin's will track the progress of all project attendees during and after the project.

    Aim 2

    To improve the mental health of 60+ homeless people with 100+ hours of singing and music making.


    » Links to participation and enjoyment of music with improved mental health are well-documented-participants will enjoy weekly performances & workshops
    » Interaction with other participants, musicians and staff leads to a sense of belonging and improved well-being.

    What success will look like

    We will track this with questionnaires &interviews before & during the project. We will contact attendees six months & a year after the project regarding the longevity of impact.

    Aim 3

    Deliver a weekend that will explore the history of homelessness, faith and individual resilience.


    » In partnership with MOH we will train 5 formerly homeless people in archive and research skills to become 'peer researchers.'
    » We will deliver monthly workshops on the themes of the music.
    » The resulting testimony will be used to create theatre performances and performance art.

    What success will look like

    We will demonstrate the impact with data regarding audience numbers along with feedback relating to audience experience.

    Aim 4

    Raise the profile of issues associated with homelessness with a high-profile overnight performance.


    » The performance will take place overnight for 12 hours: 1000+ people will see the performance at Tate Modern, including rough sleepers.
    » It is hoped that the performance will be transmitted via the BBC or Sky Arts, reaching a vast and new audience, challenging perceptions further.
    » The audio and film footage will be freely available on ASMF's website, reaching millions around the world.
    » Press interest will be high given the combined reach of ASMF, Streetwise Opera, Tate, MOH and Gavin Bryars.

    What success will look like

    Success will be having shared the achievements of the group with a live audience of 1000+ and an online/broadcast audience of 3 million+ along with the expected press interest.

    Aim 5

    Launch of With One Voice's toolkit to help cultural spaces engage better with homelessness.


    » The toolkit will list best practice recommendations that cultural spaces could adopt to meet the needs of homeless people.
    » Tate are likely to be the first major institution to adopt the recommendations, which will include training of frontline staff.

    What success will look like

    The impact and reach of With One Voice's recommendations will be externally evaluated.

  • Impact


    Most of the participants in this project will be leading chaotic lives; sleeping rough, coping with addictions and/or having recently arrived in the country. We will work with our partners Streetwise Opera, The Museum of Homelessness, The West London Mission and The Connection at St Martin's to record and demonstrate the long-term impact of taking part in this project, from finding work and housing to improved mental health.


    Due to the nature of people's lives, we expect a high drop-out rate and have countered this through the design of the project (people can join at any time, and need only take part in the rehearsal period to be able to perform.)

    Also, as this is an ambitious project with a large budget, raising funds is a risk-however, we have mitigated this by putting together a comprehensive fundraising plan involving a multi-streamed approach.


    Donors will be invited to attend workshops and meet the participants & musicians & will receive fortnightly emails detailing participants' progress. They will be invited to the final performance to witness first-hand its benefits and they are also welcome to perform with the group if they wish!

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £81,606

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      Amount Heading Description
      £5,050 Training Training musicians and Tate Staff in the best way to work with and support homeless people.
      £16,395 Music project x 2 eight-week long projects at West London Mission and Connection at St Martins
      £34,661 Rehearsals and performance Intensive rehearsal week:room hire, animateur and musicians' fees+overnight fees for performance
      £12,750 MoH weekend Production and installation of artistic commissions
      £4,490 Marketing Mailouts to supporters,printing and design of flyers, posters and programmes
      £5,000 Catering Catering for workshops, intensive week and rehearsals
      £3,260 Travel Travel cards for participants to get to workshops, rehearsals and performance

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Donor £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    This project will take place in several boroughs across London. London is the richest but most unequal part of the country, with it's most expensive property but with more than 1000 people sleeping rough in it every day. By placing this performance within Tate we hope to bring together Londoners from all walks of life, countering prejudice and mistrust. Rough sleepers from across London will be targeted and encouraged to attend-an unprecedented opening of the doors of the Tate.


    In the immediate term, the 60+ homeless people who take part in this project will benefit. However, the project also benefits the practice of the professional musicians who engage with it & we anticipate a wider attitudinal shift towards homeless people amongst live and online audiences. Also, the adoption of the recommendations from With One Voice will see Tate setting an example to the sector regarding welcoming homeless people which will benefit homeless people across the UK, long term.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The ASMF is one of the world's leading chamber orchestras working with some of London's most talented musicians. For 20 years the Academy has been working to empower homeless and vulnerable adults, raising confidence and aspiration through the therapeutic benefits of group music-making. This experience, plus partnering with high-profile organisations who are also leaders in their field in terms of working with homeless people, ensures that we are best placed to deliver this project.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jessica Turtle

    Jessica Turtle has over 20 years experience in the arts and is co-founder of the UK’s first Museum of Homelessness. She will co-lead the weekend.

    Charlotte O'Dair

    Charlotte is a Producer at ASMF and will lead the project. She has managed national arts projects with £2.5 million budgets.

    Laura Griffith

    Laura is acting Head of Advocacy and Events at Tate and will manage their involvement.

    Tanja Pagnuco

    Tanja is Associate Producer at Streetwise Opera and will manage Streetwise Opera's involvement

"The music group rescues people by preventing further deterioration in their mental health which we then see having a knock-on effect of massively increasing their engagement with my team of support workers to help them access accommodation, employment and other new opportunities."

David, Service Manager at West London Mission Seymour Place