The power of music to unite people over a backdrop of difference is no secret. And as one of our core aims at Big Leaf is to create bridges between communities who otherwise rarely meet, music as the channel for this seemed an obvious choice.
In March this year, we recorded our first song Remember Who You Are. The track was written and rehearsed on Zoom during lockdown by young musicians of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, all living in Surrey. Their talent, their willingness to embrace music of all styles and their courage to go beyond what was comfortable for them impressed us beyond words. 'Remember Who You Are' showed us just what can be done when you take a group of diverse young people and hand them the reins.
This October, building on this, we hosted our first Music Connects residential, in collaboration with our good friends at Surrey Arts.
In partnership with Djibril Ayofe and Chelsea FC Foundation, Big Leaf Foundation ran a three day football project called ISpeak Football in the October half-term.
Football is an essential part of Big Leaf’s provision. For the young people we work with, football is a chance to play, exercise, develop their skills and make new friends. It represents a common language with mutual understanding and respect between players. We have experienced the hugely positive effect that football can have on the well-being of our beneficiaries.