22 May 2024

Donation hits all the right notes for young musicians

by Tim Nuttall

The members of a popular youth music group are celebrating after receiving a full complement of new equipment for their club thanks to a generous donation from Withernsea Big Local.

Under the banner of Withernsea Youth Action, a registered charity that supports young people up to the age of 18, or 25 for those with special educational needs, the Elevation Youth Music Group was formed in September 2023 in response to demand from young musicians who were seeking an outlet for their creativity.

This followed a second successful youth music festival, organised by the Withernsea Youth Action Group, which served as a showcase for local talent by providing budding singers and musicians with a platform to perform. The interest generated from these performances, coupled with the drive of the performers who were keen to have their own dedicated club, prompted the launch of a weekly opportunity for them to practise and develop their skills.

Meeting every Friday, from 5pm at Withernsea Methodist Church, the group has gone from strength-to-strength – learning to play and work together, and hosting their own Christmas fundraiser in an effort to raise funds to support the future of their group.

Mark Zubrzycki, chairman of the Withernsea Youth Action Group, said: “Since the formation of our Elevation Youth Music Group, we have opened the doors to the town’s young musicians who have a variety of skills and experiences across a range of different instruments.

“To date, we have relied on community donations of second-hand equipment which we have been hugely appreciative of. However, it came to light through the volunteers that help run the group, that this equipment would have a limited shelf life – meaning that we had a limit on how long we could continue helping and supporting our young people. This prompted us to explore funding opportunities.”

The Withernsea Youth Action Group was subsequently successful in securing £10,000 funding through Withernsea Big Local to safeguard the future of Elevation with the purchase of top-of-the-range music and stage equipment including a lighting rig, guitars, keyboards, microphones, PA equipment, and associated cabling.

Last Friday, April 12, the members of the Elevation Youth Music Group were presented with their new instruments in a surprise celebration event held at the Shores Centre.

Representatives from Withernsea Big Local, as well as parents/carers, and volunteers from both youth organisations, were present as the club’s members received their new equipment.

Mark said: “The celebration event was a huge success, with the young people and funders all leaving with huge smiles on their faces.

“This equipment will not only help support the current cohort of young musicians at their weekly meetings, it will help many others for years to come. It will also help to develop further opportunities for live performance in the community – including the next Youth Music Festival.

“We want to extend our gratitude to Withernsea Big Local for their amazing generosity which will allow us to further support our young musicians. As a small token of appreciation, the festival will now be known as the Big Local Youth Music Festival – not only as a nod to the generous donation from Withernsea Big Local, but also as we aim for the festival to be ‘big’ and showcase the best of ‘local’ young talent.

“I would also like to thank Jayne Nendick and the Shores Centre for their continued support of Withernsea Youth Action, and Withernsea Methodist Church for hosting our music group. Finally, a special thanks to all of our young musicians and club volunteers whose hard work and dedication knows no bounds.”

Helping to facilitate the surprise unveiling of the new equipment was Jayne Nendick, Shores CEO, who said: “It was a joy to see the kids’ faces and their amazement at the new equipment. This is a solid investment in creativity that will definitely help to inspire more children to access musical instruments, learn new skills, or develop pre-existing talents.”

Rodger Read, chairman of the Withernsea Big Local Steering Group, said: “Withernsea Big Local is delighted to support Withernsea Youth Action Group with this donation of musical instruments, and associated electronic equipment,to help young people to further develop their skills. The group have gone from strength to strength and are now a registered charity in their own right.

“The Withernsea Big Local philosophy, in line with the national Big Local movement, is to help people who are willing to help themselves and these young people are an excellent example of this at work. Being present at the first performance with the new equipment was a genuinely joyous occasion. Withernsea Youth Action Group are a credit themselves and to the town.”

Funded by the National Lottery, and managed by Local Trust, the Big Local is a resident-led programme that has provided 150 areas across England with at least £1 million to make a positive and lasting difference to their community. The Withernsea Big Local Partnership Steering Group has been working since 2015 to support and develop initiatives to make Withernsea “a better place to live and work”. For more information, visit withernseabiglocal.co.uk.

Meanwhile, Withernsea Youth Action continues to run its popular youth club every Monday night between 6.30pm and 8.30pm at the Shores Centre.