26 April 2021

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Sistema Scotland believes that all children and young people have great potential, skills and talents. It also recognise that poverty and inequality in Scotland have a significant impact on the support and opportunities some children have to build their self-esteem, confidence and social networks: key building blocks for nurturing each individual’s ambitions, skills and dreams.

Sistema Scotland uses music and nurturing relationships to tackle some of those inequalities and with the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, it has been able to continue its work throughout the pandemic.

Big Noise place-based programmes were created to improve lives by inspiring, nurturing, and strengthening children, young people and their communities through music. Our long-term orchestral educational programmes are free of charge and located in communities where there is identified need. Big Noise’s inspirational teachers celebrate individual and collective endeavour, encourage and foster long-term friendships, offering support beyond traditional service boundaries and building inner confidence and determination to help each person shape their own path. 

Since March 2020, Sistema Scotland has continuously adapted Big Noise to work under a range of Covid restrictions, from last spring's total lockdown to carefully managed delivery within schools in late 2020, then the second lockdown in early 2021 and gradual reopening of schools in recent weeks. Throughout the pandemic, its priority has always been to maintain contact and support the wellbeing of the children and young people of Big Noise, their families, and their communities.

Having supported families with access to IT, where appropriate, the charity rapidly established the Big Noise Virtual After-School Club: a digital version of the after-school programme and delivered almost 8,400 live online lessons to children and young people aged from 7 to 18 years.  It quickly introduced group lessons, Baby Noise sessions and other fun social activities. Children, parents and carers have been overwhelmingly positive: 

"Big Noise was the only interaction my daughter had during the lockdown. Her mood jumped back up after her Big Noise sessions; the group sessions were extremely beneficial as she'd been feeling isolated and had little other interaction. Big Noise is where her good friends are," said a parent of a Big Noise participant.

Sistema has worked closely with local schools to ensure Covid-safe, face-to-face delivery wherever restrictions allowed. Having Big Noise back in schools helped to give a much-needed sense of something like normality for the children, and some of them said that having Big Noise back in their school helped them to manage their moods, health and energy.

"Big Noise gives me more energy and it helps my mum when I come home because I am calmer," said one child receiving Big Noise lessons at school in late 2020.

The children and communities have welcomed the continued interactions with Big Noise throughout this challenging time and because of players of People’s Postcode Lottery Sistema can ensure that no matter what happens, children and young people will continue to make a Big Noise. 

More than £2.3 million has been raised for Sistema Scotland thanks to players.