Music in Hospitals
Music in Hospitals (MiH) is a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for adults and children with all kinds of illness and disability through the joy of professionally performed live music. An MiH concert can offer patients therapeutic stimulation and comfort, and musicians perform at a range of venues, including hospitals, hospices, care homes, day centres and special needs schools. Throughout the North East, MiH held 150 concerts in 2015, providing comfort and emotional release to over 4000 patients.
With a great track record since 1948, MiH wanted to develop further as a charity with an effective structure to provide local focus. Working throughout Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, & The Channel Islands, the charity was looking to expand these regions and to build on its presence with focused trustee boards/committees, ambassadors and staff, in each area. Alison Forbes, the charity’s lead in the North East, therefore approached The Cranfield Trust for support in putting together a workable strategy for her region, which would help the organisation to harness local commitment and enthusiasm in order to raise funds and garner support.
Cranfield Trust NE Project Manager, George Gibbons, worked through the charity’s requirements with Alison, before introducing them to volunteer Dr Janette Young, a business development coach and associate lecturer at Newcastle Business School.
Over the course of several meetings, Janette was able to work through the process of developing a suitable strategy to help MiH move forward, adapting her approach to fit in with the needs of the organisation, as she explained:
“I supported and facilitated the process as a coach and mentor when I met Alison from Music in Hospitals. We met on a regular basis to discuss progress, building upon one step at a time through the business plan sections. I tried to be creative in the process rather than fixed, as I was dealing with a musician who was determined and passionate about her role.”
Alison was delighted to receive Janette’s help and advice, as she explained:
“Writing a Business Plan can be quite daunting, but the Cranfield Trust volunteer was very supportive and gave strong and clear guidance on every aspect of the Plan. Music in Hospitals North East now has a professional document that clearly outlines our strategy for the region and we have already sent it to various funders for support.”
This has clearly made an impact on the charity’s operations and clarity of vision for the future. However, the business plan has also ensured that MiH is now able to reach out to greater numbers of those people with an illness or disability within their local communities:
“The Business Plan provides a clear framework to develop the charity in the region over the next 3 years and the implementation of the Plan will enable more people to benefit from our concerts. From the 4,000 patients in the North East who benefited from an MiH concert in 2015, it is anticipated that the number of concerts will continue to grow over the next three years, with the organisation looking to provide over 400 concerts per year reaching out to over 10,000 patients whose lives can be touched by the joy of live performance.”
Janette appreciated the opportunity to work with MiH and was able to form a good working relationship with the charity, being full of praise for their work. As she commented on completion of the project:
“The organisation is inspirational in terms of what they do.”
This was her first volunteering role with The Cranfield Trust, but she was happy to report that it had been an excellent experience, adding:
"It is a privilege to do the work and support Social Enterprises in the North of England. At the Cranfield Trust we are carefully matched with the client to provide a “good fit”. I was supported by George Gibbons, North East Project Manager for the Trust and was able to learn from his insight and expertise. The Cranfield Trust is an amazing organisation that makes a difference and works to the highest professional standards.”