Voluntary Sector Focus: John Paul, Beatsabar Music Project CIC - Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council

by James Clarke
3 years ago

Tell us about your organisation, how you started and what you do?

We use creativity with music for social change.

Beatsabar Music Project is a Community Interest Company driven by music, digital inclusion, social justice, and culture.  We create a wide range of musical content and media with people who share our values, by providing rehearsal spaces and audio recording services, community music workshops and 1-2-1 sessions.

It was set up in 2014, by 6 individuals whose vision was to: ‘Let our passion for music stimulate and allow young people to unearth hidden musical talent and showcase their ability’. The skills and experience of the team are related to youth work, music and sound industry and the entertainment industry.

Located in a community perceived to be culturally, economically and geographically disadvantaged, Beatsabar is open daily, welcoming musicians and music lovers from all over the Wolverhampton area to use its facilities.

Beatsabar currently supports disadvantaged young people, those with disabilities and special educational needs, NEETs and young offenders. Our outcomes include accessibility, confidence, skills, positive mental health and behaviour. Beatsabar see the importance of community cohesion and act as the link between communities and a range of other local authority and voluntary sector providers, such as the police, social workers, and teachers. Beatsabar have worked closely with individuals, youth groups and charities to empower them to identify their needs, opportunities, and plan what they want to achieve.

What has been your greatest achievement?

Our greatest achievement to date has been our consistency over the last 7 years and being able to provide our community with annual live events (Beatsabar Presents Showcase), open mic nights, radio shows and podcasts and music networking events.

Also, with the support of the National Lottery, the Police and the European Social Fund, Beatsabar has been able to offer up to 200 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or NEETS, an opportunity to express themselves through creativity in song writing and learn about music production in our bespoke workshops.

What is your experience of support received from WVSC?

Since 2017, WVSC has really been a major help in the development of our business and brand. Having attended several of their seminars and networking events I have made many connections in the voluntary sector and learnt a lot of valuable information. By subscribing to their fortnightly newsletter, I have been made aware of many events and funding opportunities from which we have benefited. Successful bids that we have applied for through WVSC have been the ESF, Reach Fund and SESF.

It was at one of the free training seminars that I was first introduced to the Key Fund. With the help of WVSC and one of their recommended consultants, I was able to successfully apply for the Reach Fund, which enabled us to do an ‘investment readiness’ study on the business. It was from that study that we were able to apply for a larger grant (in fact our largest ever) to help to support us through Covid-19, to pay for a small refurb and capacity building for our online services.

WVSC, through the SEW project, provided a funding pot for some peer-to-peer learning opportunities, where I was able to travel to Leicester to find another studio similar to mine and learn how they operate.

WVSC have also always been very supportive when it comes to attending our own events and open days. They always promote our events in their monthly mail-outs

WVSC have also kept us up to date with new funding opportunities, tenders and provided us with a number of free training courses.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Wolverhampton?

Clear communication is key. Wolverhampton people need to be reminded all the time of what you do, so networking at events and social media interaction is crucial.

What are some of the challenges you face and how can WVSC help to support your organisation in the future?

We have never been nominated for any business or charity awards for our community work. I would like to know how we can be more noticed for the work we do and maybe get nominated for something. I want awards!

Where can we find out more?

John Paul Studio Manager & Co-Director,
Tel: 07886 903515 Email: johnpaul@beatsabarmusicproject.co.uk
Beatsabar Music Project CIC Office: 01902 423826
Newhampton Arts Centre, Unit 12, Dunkley Street, WV1 4AN WOLVERHAMPTON

Would you like to be featured in our Voluntary Sector Focus? Contact Sharon Nanan-Sen on snanan-sen@wolverhamptonvsc.org.uk for more info!