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Everyone can write a song: reflections on the Carers’ Music Fund




What Works Centre for Wellbeing

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The Carers’ Music programme supported participatory music-making interventions aimed at improving the wellbeing and loneliness of female carers who are particularly vulnerable to low wellbeing and social isolation. As the 2-year fund comes to an end, we look at some of the key insights from our partnership working and findings from the programme-level evaluation. As a programme that is strongly committed to generating wellbeing impacts across the UK, the Carers’ Music Fund supported 10 projects whose approach is grounded in the latest wellbeing research. Between March 2019 and June 2021, grantees were encouraged to design, deliver, and evaluate their activities using the growing evidence base on the wellbeing benefits of music and singing interventions. Funding was given to projects that showed a commitment to test and learn different pathways to wellbeing, and to share their learning with others. The programme evaluation was designed to gather evidence on the wellbeing outcomes and impact generated by Carers’ Music Fund projects. The use of well-established metrics for wellbeing and loneliness allows funds such as Spirit of 2012 to compare the wellbeing impacts of their grant-making activities with other wellbeing funds, programmes and pilots, and to benchmark progress against the national picture. One important finding from the Fund evaluation is that music-making can lead to wellbeing through a range of different pathways. From building connections, to improving confidence and skills, giving carers a voice, and busting stereotypes - there wasn’t a single route to wellbeing, but a number of different journeys. These findings will be key when designing positive and creative opportunities for people in the coming months and years. (Edited publisher abstract)

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