Urban Vocal Group awarded Youth Music Grant


UVG – The Urban Vocal Group is delighted to announce further backing from national charity Youth Music, thanks to the National Lottery via Arts Council, with a grant of £29,423 being awarded.

Having joined The Guildhall Trust earlier this year, it is with a shared vision and commitment to young people and emerging talent in the Portsmouth region that UVG aims to enhance opportunities and achieve a wider impact through its work, which will be supported by the Youth Music grant.

Since its formation in 2008, UVG has provided over 19,000 free of charge opportunities for young people to engage in singing and music-making, helping to develop transferable skills and nurture positive health and wellbeing. The grant will continue to support these activities along with the expansion of UVG’s Mentoring Through Music programme which provides young people the opportunity to work closely with professional musicians and also the launch of a Workforce Training programme for local musicians, many of whom have suffered as a result of the pandemic.

UVG works in areas where opportunities for music-making may be limited, financially restrictive or socially out of bounds, ensuring that all young people have access regardless of circumstance. Engaging in music-making activities is proven to have a positive impact on personal and social development, educational and employment prospects as well as confidence, musical ability and self-esteem.

CEO of The Guildhall Trust, Andy Grays said “We are delighted that the fantastic work of UVG – The Urban Vocal Group continues to be recognised and supported in this way with the opportunities UVG offers now even more critical post pandemic. At a time when young people are feeling increasingly isolated and anxious, UVG offers a safe and welcoming environment for young people to sing, socialise, be creative and gain transferable skills that will help them to positively engage with their education and wider world of work.”

UVG Projects Manager, Charlie Fletcher, said “Youth Music’s support over the past 7 years has been critical in helping UVG to develop and reach as many young people as we have. It has been a real privilege to see young people flourish and overcome personal challenges, with many attendees staying with us throughout their formative years. We have worked throughout the pandemic to continue to engage and offer our support in uncertain times and this grant will really help us to re-establish and grow our in-person singing groups and expand individual development opportunities, all free of charge to the young people that use them”.         

Youth Music is a national charity which uses insights, influence and investment in grassroots organisations and to young people themselves to ensure more 0-25 year olds can make, learn and earn in music.   

Matt Griffiths, Youth Music CEO said “We know that music has been a lifeline for many young people during the pandemic. Especially those already facing barriers because of who they are, where they’re from or what they’re going through. That’s why we back progressive organisations like UVG, who lead the way with their innovative approach to diversifying music-making access”.  

To support their work with young people, UVG also run vocal groups for adults, with a new group recently started in Paulsgrove and another set to launch in Gosport in the new year  with all youth and adult groups coming together to perform at festivals and events across the south with performances at Portsmouth Cathedral Christmas Market, Seasonal Songs at Queens Hotel and QA Hospital Carols all confirmed in the lead up to this Christmas.    

To find out more about UVG groups and projects in your area head to www.theuvg.co.uk or www.portsmouthguildhall.org.uk/get-involved