h.Club Foundation's philanthropic award winner - h.Club 100
Alyson and Anna founded Play for Progress in 2014 to make a difference in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable community, unaccompanied children fleeing overwhelming violence in their countries and seeking refuge in the UK.
Unaccompanied minor refugees find themselves alone in a strange country, without the use of their mother tongue, often struggling with PTSD and placed in foster care or hostels. Their entrance into education and safe social spaces is delayed or can be denied and the process of gaining asylum is arduous and lengthy
Play for Progress (PFP) is a London-based charity that delivers therapeutic and educational music programmes for young people impacted by conflict, to help them engage with, learn through, and explore their capabilities in music.
PfP offers them ways to connect with the diverse and overwhelming city that is London, to practice their language skills, to release tensions and find respite in a safe space. This allows them to forge supportive friendships and relationships while exploring and developing their own creative potential.
Their Croydon-based weekly music programme for unaccompanied minor refugees guarantees that these vulnerable young people can rely on a close-knit community of allies who use music as a tool for social change, self-expression, team building, and personal development. Every student enrolled in our programme is given access to a curriculum of music workshops, instrumental lessons, performance opportunities, mentorship, and group cultural outings.
Music is an incredible tool for providing therapeutic emotional relief, for bringing communities together, for exploring creativity, and it’s a brilliant way to enroll professional musicians in paid charity work that supports their careers and is socially impactful.
Research shows that learning music improves reading skills, numeracy, abstract thinking skills, long-term and auditory memory, listening skills, and develops the part of the brain that is associated with sensory and motor function.
Beyond the scientific and therapeutic reasons, music education is beneficial in its own right: in the making of music! Music is a unique form of personal expression that exists in every culture. Music provides an outlet for creative thinking, for emotional release, as well as encouraging self-discipline, self-exploration, cultural appreciation, and good old fashioned fun.