Music therapy charity offers lessons to special schools in London


A charity who support children with special needs and their families in London has been awarded £950 in funding by Tesco as part of a scheme to support young people across the UK.

The grant will allow local charity In-Deep Community Task Force to offer music therapy sessions to special needs schools in the area for the first time ever now that pupils are back in school following the lockdown.

Charities and community groups who work with young people were able to apply for support from the Tesco Bags of Help Community Grants scheme in association with community charity Groundwork, and In-Deep Community Task Force in Vauxhall was one of the successful applicants.

In-Deep has been running for 19 years and works with isolated older people and children with special needs to help tackle loneliness through a range of activities. The group’s music therapy sessions, run by qualified music therapists, help the children build confidence, while improving concentration, co-ordination and social interaction skills.

Colin and Emma Chapman both received MBEs for their involvement with In-Deep Community Task Force and as recognition of the group’s invaluable work in the community.

Emma Chapman MBE, Co-ordinator and General Secretary at In-Deep said:

“We began the music therapy sessions after I saw the positive effect it had on my own son, who has epilepsy and autism. There is currently a lack of therapy sessions offered to special needs schools, so this grant has meant we can offer our sessions to the pupils for the first time.

“During the last lockdown, we were unable to offer face to face classes although sessions continued on zoom, however now that pupils are back, we’re hugely excited to offer lessons to special schools around London.

“It’s been a tough year for everyone, but this grant means we can offer some relief to the children and their families through something universally loved – music”.

Over the last five years, 2,523 groups across London have had reason to celebrate after receiving grants from Bags of Help– which is celebrating its birthday this month.

Keith Jackson, Bags of Help Manager at Tesco, said: “Young people have been among the most affected by the pandemic this year, be it due to school disruption or vital services stopping.

“We’re therefore very pleased to see so many charities and community groups coming forward for support, all of whom carry out vital work for young people in the UK, and delighted to be able to provide much-needed funding for many of them, including In-Deep Community Task Force.”

Other groups in London to be awarded a grant included The Change Foundation in Sutton and Community Cycle Works in Southwark.

Alex Forrester, Corporate Partnership Manager from Groundwork commented: “We have seen a wide variety of groups come forward for funding, including outdoor activities, mental health charities, young carers, bereavement counselling, and charities working with vulnerable children.

“We see day to day the incredible work these groups do, but also how much they need funding to operate, which is often hard to come by, so it is fantastic to work with Tesco to be able to give a little help to some of them.”