Young people with disabilities and complex learning difficulties will be making music with the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT) thanks to a grant presented by Northants and Hunts Freemasons.

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From left, Anna Denny (NMPAT Fundraising Manager), WBro Jim Spence PAGDC (Senior Corby Group Officer), WBro David Watson PAGDC (MCF Trustee, seated, making the presentation to NMPAT), WBro Eddie Storey ProvGStwd (Past Master, Lodge of Unity), Sam Wall (Parent Support Advisor, Red Kite Academy), WBro Alex Henderson PProvAGDC (Corby Group Officer), and Donna Luck (Headteacher, Red Kite Academy)

The £23,000 Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) grant is in support of the Reach the Stars project, which aims to use music-making to develop communication and other core-skills in young people of school-age by building confidence and encouraging social interaction. The MCF is funded by Freemasons from across England and Wales.

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For young people with additional needs, including those with physical limitations and profound multiple learning disabilities, music-making enhances their experiences and reduces isolation.

Reach the Stars is developed by NMPAT in collaboration with all twelve Northamptonshire special schools and digital signal processing (DSP) units.

The grant will help maintain the project's dedicated staff, music therapists, Gideon Malitske and Emily-May Roebuck (pictured centre below), during its first year.

The presentation was made on the 15th of November 2018 at the Red Kite Academy, which opened in Corby in September and provides specialist support for primary and secondary age children presenting a range of complex special education needs.

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Peter Smalley, NMPAT Chief Executive, said:

We’re very grateful to the MCF for their generous grant. It will provide children with learning and other disabilities from all twelve of Northamptonshire’s special schools the chance to work with our expert staff to develop core skills and boost their confidence at a crucial time in their education.

WBro David Watson, Northants and Hunts Masons Provincial Grand Treasurer, said:

On behalf of the MCF, we are very pleased to be able to help NMPAT with their work with children with complex needs. This excellent project gives them a chance to develop their social skills and overcome the isolation that so many of them face.

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