Awards joy for stage school

Evening Express (City Final) - - News - By Laura Fer­gu­son

A NORTH-EAST stage school and char­ity has been an­nounced as a fi­nal­ist in a na­tional fund­ing project.

Mu­sic 4 U is one of five groups in the North Scot­land cat­e­gory that has reached the fi­nal of the Peo­ple’s Project 2018.

The scheme, which is now in its 13th year, is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Big Lot­tery Fund, ITV, STV and The Na­tional Lot­tery.

Com­mu­nity groups are com­pet­ing for up to £50,000 of fund­ing.

Mu­sic 4 U of­fers artis­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties to a wide range of young peo­ple, aged be­tween 16 and 25, in­clud­ing those with phys­i­cal and learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties.

Deb­bie Kirk­ness, founder and di­rec­tor of the group, said: “I founded Mu­sic 4 U back in 2003 and we be­came a char­ity in 2005.

“All of our fund­ing comes from ap­pli­ca­tions and do­ing our own fund­ing in-house.

“We sup­port peo­ple across all walks of life, in­clud­ing peo­ple with learn­ing and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties.”

Deb­bie said the group re­ceived fund­ing from an­other Na­tional Lot­tery project, Awards for All, and it was from that they were in­vited to ap­ply for the Peo­ple’s Project.

The group was an­nounced as one of the fi­nal­ists for the re­gion on Thurs­day.

Deb­bie said: “We got through stages one and two and then we learned that we were fi­nal­ists.

“I was thrilled when I dis­cov­ered that we had made it through to the fi­nals of the project.

“I’m es­pe­cially over the moon for all the young peo­ple who are part of the project.”

Mu­sic 4 U is now look­ing to de­velop and stage a pro­duc­tion called Mu­sic From Yes­ter­year, which will be per­formed in res­i­den­tial homes, day cen­tres and chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals.

Deb­bie has said that if the project is suc­cess­ful, she would like to see the money help kick-start mu­sic ca­reers for some of the young peo­ple at Mu­sic 4 U.

She said: “A few of the guys we’ve got are fan­tas­tic en­ter­tain­ers and I was so ex­cited for them.

“If we win this could lead to amaz­ing things for them.”

To vote for Mu­sic 4 U in the Peo­ple’s Project 2018 visit bit.ly/2h1te7f

PICTURES BY HEATHER FOWLIE

tal­ent: Mu­sic 4 U sup­ports chil­dren and young adults with dis­abil­i­ties.

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