In 2019 Arts Connect supported Encore Enterprises CIC: Herefordshire Music Service to embed Arts Award accreditation within their after school music programmes working with children from four Herefordshire primary schools.

Encore CIC highlighted the barriers facing children and young people living in Herefordshire’s rural communities, experiencing socio-economic deprivation, where participating in music and the arts can be a real challenge. During the academic year 2018-19, Encore Enterprises sought to address this challenge through their After School Arts Award Instrument Clubs.

Through the music programmes young people were able to develop their instrumental skills and celebrate their achievements with others through performance opportunities. By making participation in Arts Award a key element of the programme, children deepened their engagement with music and musicians specifically and the arts in general.

Through the programmes young people’s growth in self-confidence was clearly evident; not only in performing, but socially as they interacted with their peers and performed for their local communities.

With school budgets and the pressure of examinations, the arts have suffered from huge cuts. For some children, this is an opportunity where they can feel successful, gain confidence, develop an interest that could last a lifetime or even become a career.’ said Head: Mr Matthew Maund Alemley Primary School

Following the success of this programme Encore Enterprises CIC will continue to deliver Arts Award accreditation and support young people to progress to higher level of the qualification.