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Letting the music play on - How Noise Solution in Bury St Edmunds has adapted during lockdown

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A Bury St Edmunds social enterprise which provides one-to-one music mentoring to challenged young people has seen the three lockdowns help change the way it will work in the future.

Noise Solution, based at The Hunter Club, in St Andrew’s Street South, took its service online in March 2020, and has undertaken around 1,700 music sessions involving 16 tutors since then.

Chief executive Simon Glenister said: “When lockdown one was announced it was like the bottom fell out of everything, it all just stopped.

Simon Glenister, chief executive of Noise Solution, in Bury St Edmunds.
Simon Glenister, chief executive of Noise Solution, in Bury St Edmunds.

“But fortunately we had a digital infrastructure already in place and after about three or four days we were able to fully deliver our service safely again, which is the most important thing when dealing with vulnerable young people.”

Noise Solution, which was formed in 2009, takes participants through a 20-hour course working with them to create any music they like, with their musical journey then shared with parents and key workers through a safe bespoke social media platform.

Simon said: “Going fully digital as opposed to face-to-face interaction has not worked for some, but we have found that lots of participants who were not fully engaging previously have been much more comfortable with the way we have adapted, which was fascinating.”

Data Simon has been collecting through the pandemic has also shown they have maintained the impact on wellbeing for participants as they had before Covid.

He said: “So even against this backdrop of pandemic, we are still making a positive impact. The audience might be slightly different as it works for some but not for others, so what we will probably do is blend face-to-face and digital interaction going forward.”

During lockdown, Noise Solution has also developed and tested group work sessions, which Simon hopes to help schools with, either digitally or in person, once restrictions allow.

Simon said: “We feel this will be vital in this next phase as this could help a whole generation of people who have been through the experience of this pandemic re-engage with school again.”

To find out more about the work Noise Solution does, go to www.noisesolution.org

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