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Vulnerable teens learn value of personal skills and communication at new music studio

YOUNG people learnt the value of communication and personal skills on a social enterprise pilot programme.

Newly launched Wrexham Sounds hosted a group of learners from Bryn Tirion Hall School, which supports vulnerable teenagers with special needs at its site in Bersham.

Led by Dave Roberts, the group focused on empathetic listening and understanding strengths and traits they would like to improve, and how key decisions can shape our lives and actions.

The Rhosrobin music studio – which aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged children across North Wales – plans to roll out the sessions further in 2022.

“The pilot programme was a big success and the group from Bryn Tirion really engaged throughout,” said Dave, from Welshpool.

“There were musical elements to it – we created a piece that everyone played a part in – and had some really interesting discussions about how we can communicate with each other better, understanding ourselves, why we create goals and overcoming the barriers to achieving them.

“Basically, that journey of getting to know yourself, where you want to go, how you get there and who can help along the way.

“We are now evaluating the sessions, looking at what worked well and how we can take it forward.”

He added: “I really love what Wrexham Sounds are doing, and their vision; the team are really bringing something fresh and new to the community and will have a huge impact on young people in this region and beyond.

“It’s fantastic to see something different driven by music and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Sarah Gaffney, Career and Work-Related Education Manager at Bryn Tirion, was in agreement.

“We support youngsters from some of the most-hard to reach areas, so the skills and ideas discussed and communicated during the sessions were really positive and beneficial for the group,” said Sarah.

“The learners really engaged with Dave and enjoyed the sessions so we look forward to returning to Wrexham Sounds and being part of the programme again in the future.”

Driven by directors Chris Lloyd, Dave Gray and Caroline Richards, and General Manager Olivia Gallagher, Wrexham Sounds has been developing new partnerships and reconnecting with stakeholders and community groups, having renovated the studios and facilities, including the installation of state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

As well as children and teenagers who will be referred via a range of local agencies and educators, there will be sessions for pupils unable to access music lessons at school, plus related activities for toddlers and infants.

Olivia believes foundations are being laid for a bright future and is confident even greater strides will be made in 2022.

“Making a difference is our primary focus, and we believe these personal skills sessions will do that,” she added.

“The group from Bryn Tirion were fantastic and really engaged with Dave and the content of the programme. They were happy to interact and explore new ideas, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve.

“As we expand our services and welcome more people and different groups to the studios in the New Year, we hope to increase our provision and reach even more people, providing opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them.”

The personal skills course will be available to all schools in the Wrexham area from Spring 2022. Email [email protected] or call 01978 345245 for details.

For more information, visit www.wrexhamsounds.org and follow them on social media @wrexhamsounds.

NOTES: Wrexham Sounds is supported by Wales Council for Voluntary Action, The Community Fund, Thomas Howells North Wales Educational Fund, Temperance Hall Trust, Wrexham County Borough Council, Yamaha Music Europe, Arts Council Wales, Third Sector Resilience Fund, Moondance Foundation and AVOW.