Mossley band gets funding boost

A MOSSLEY group which gets children into playing music has received a cash boost to further its work.

Incredible Plastic Street Band has made a huge impact since being formed initially as a three month project in 2016 that saw seven to 11-year-old children form a marching band and perform at the town’s whit walks.

After initially seeing 30 kids gain a love of music via lightweight ‘brass’ instruments, its success and appeal has grown and spread.

Now it has received a further boost to further develop its base at ‘Veg In The Park’ in the Waterhead area of Oldham.

Donated by housing association First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) via its funding scheme, Respect Our Community Awards (ROCA).

Six year old trombone player Elizabeth Shaw

Beren Airstone, founder of the Incredible Plastic Street Band, said: “We’ve been cooped up for over a year, practising online due to Covid-19, so we were delighted when the restrictions lifted, and we could rehearse in-person again.

“We rehearse outside in a community growing hub called ‘Veg in the Park’ which means we are in danger of getting wet thanks to the great British weather.

“So we bought bright coloured umbrellas for the kids to keep them dry. They also double up as parasols too so we can practice come rain or shine.”

Veg in the Park also received ROCA funding and purchased new, sustainable benches – made from 2,665 recycled milk cartons – which IPSB use every week.

And Beren added the Incredible Plastic Street Band has helped break down some barriers, especially financial ones.

She said: “Brass can be quite an exclusive world with music lessons and instruments costing hundreds of pounds, so by using plastic ‘brass’ instruments in a community setting, we’re able to involve children who might not have had the opportunity.

“We help children gain qualifications and boost their confidence through our tuition, but most importantly, we enable them to have fun, make friends and learn about where they live.

“Currently we’re working on a project called Cotton Culture where the children use instruments and body percussion to recreate the sounds of mills from times gone by.

“We’re extremely thankful for initiatives like ROCA which help us to knock down accessibility barriers and support the little ones to flourish in the wonderful world of music.”

FCHO’s Stronger Communities team currently hosts ROCA funding twice a year and supports community and voluntary groups to apply for other local and national funding such as the National Lottery Community Fund.

Emma Cafferky, Stronger Communities Manager at FCHO, said: “It’s amazing to see ROCA recipients such as the Incredible Plastic Street Band doing so well and our local communities reaping the benefits.”

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