Head of Service Blog - 1st of March, 2017

Gareth Churcher

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On Monday the 20th of February I had the pleasure of attending the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Healthy Workplace Award and it was a pleasure for many reasons! It was a great honour to receive the Silver Award on behalf of Cornwall Music Service Trust (CMST) after only receiving the Bronze award only 12 months ago. This very rapid progression to this level of award is testament to the exemplary hard work of Karen Frost and Liz Sibley (Pastoral Care Officers for CMST). They have worked tirelessly on initiatives that raise awareness of health and wellbeing for the staff of CMST and their morale boosting social events, including boat trips, barn dances, Christmas parties in conjunction with relevant content in staff training, shows CMST’s commitment to the physical and mental health and well being of all involved with our wonderful service.


Furthermore, our very own Christine Judge (Curriculum and Vocal Team Manager) started the whole day with a section entitled ‘Let’s Get Notivated’! Getting all delegates into the spirit by rhythmic and vocal warm ups and creating a mashup workplace choir which created a wonderful sound. I hope this will inspire the many workplaces in attendance to create their own workplace choirs as it was apparent that the power of music has the ability to raise physical and mental well-being immediately through the joy of song.

Finally, it was a pleasure to share the event with all the other workplaces that were receiving their awards ranging from Devon and Cornwall Police to View It, Love It, List It Estate Agents! Congratulations to them all.

We will be working more closely with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Healthy Workplace Awards in presenting further case studies on the benefits of music making in the workplace at their business forums. This is another sign that CMST is thinking outside the box and engaging further people in the delivery and consequent benefits of music.

Funding and Subsidies for music lessons is something that the creation of CMST has safeguarded. As a charity, a registered provider for the Cornwall Music Education Hub and Cornwall Council we have ensured that the dissemination of particular subsidies is still available to our learners who qualify. However, since the implementation of Universal Free School meals we have found that some families are not aware that they still need to inform their schools of the eligibility for funding. This has not only a knock on effect for us as a Music Service but importantly your child's school who may also be losing out on valuable funding. As a public service body, we have spent a notable amount of time following up with Cornwall Council and proving eligibility of funding for music lessons and I am proud that we have the capacity to do this in the first instance but I would urge you, for the benefit of your schools, to make sure you have given all relevant details around your personal circumstances so that your child’s school can access much needed funding also.

After reviewing our Events schedule for the month of March alone I have been blown away by the amount of exciting workshops, performances, masterclasses that are happening in this coming month. I would implore you to take a look at the upcoming events within the relevant section of our website and our social media. All of this couldn’t happen without the hard work, determination and commitment of our teachers and I would like to take this opportunity to make a personal thank you to them all (all 110 of them!!!). In addition, our new website is being kept alive and fresh due to the hard work of Ross Hamilton (Communications Manager for CMST), thank you to Ross for his proactive approach, hard work and for keeping the website alive.