Opportunity is a lifeline and a springboard. To thrive we must belong, and to grow we must thrive. We all have a story, a tune, a beat, and we raise each other when we join together in harmony.
Open Harmony CIC
Open Harmony is a community-led charitable organisation covering the whole of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin. The main aim is to bring adults (aged 18+) together of all abilities and backgrounds, through the love of music. We're inclusive and all are welcome. It's a friendly, fun and safe environment.
We empower people: our vibrant, creative and comfortable environment enables and encourages our members to thrive and grow. We transform lives:
"I feel like I'm living again", said Jan, after joining the Open Harmony community.
How music and Open Harmony helped lift Jan's feelings of depression
From self-harm to self-actualisation
A great social space to bond, to learn together, and see people transform as musicians
Ongoing support, a "mini music family"
Music brings people together, "other than music - nothing in common - yet we have so much to talk about"
"I'd shut myself away... seeing how open and supportive everyone is gives me the responsibility and desire to give something back"
What makes us unique
We adapt to the needs and strengths of all.
Together, these three elements make us unique:
We are locally rooted and community-led
We are for all adults, all abilities, any music – everyone has music in common and it makes them feel part of something. At Open Harmony, you can go from a group member to leading the group to chairing the Committee meetings if you choose
Music supports the whole person – emotionally (wellbeing), socially (confidence and social skills), physically (there are well-documented physical benefits of music), and spiritually (transcendent experience, feeling connectedness and oneness with life, nature, other people)
Hybrid, flexible service
Our services are delivered online, in person, and both together, to meet the accessibility needs of each person and maximise inclusion
Who we help
The Open Harmony community supports people not served by other organisations: those worst affected by the cost-of-living crisis (and the covid pandemic), living in areas of deprivation, and dealing with mental & physical health issues and the negative effects of isolation, loneliness and discrimination.
Our work has already begun with 50 community members living in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.
"You've shone some light in the tunnel... I am dragging myself out of a very dark place, sorting through the health issues, brain fog, desperate financial situation, I feel so much better than I did when we first spoke, it's testimony to Open Harmony for the support you've given me"
"People need to get together, build on common interests and music, this is building my life back up.
This is an inspirational group."
C, group member
G, group member
"You made me shine again
It's about confidence, when you've got depression it really knocks you, it's about becoming me again really. I can go in a shop and not look down at the floor, actually look at people serving me, don't feel frightened when I go out. It's been such a great experience for me personally and building me up as a person and taking on new challenges, and I wouldn't have done that before. You're thrown with people you've never seen before and I was in the background and feel a bit silly but now I feel so confident and better about myself. It's wonderful what you've done."
"I didn't know what to expect from this group, I was really frightened. I found the first one a bit nervewracking but everyone's been so lovely, so friendly and respectful. People can have such wonderful talents, it's about giving people time and it's lovely to see how everyone's growing from that."
T, group member
L, group member
“I would like to say a huge thanks and how much he loved it and is feeling positive about it and keen to progress”
"That’s SO wonderful to hear that he has attended a session in person. It’s great to find out feedback like this... It feels like a huge triumph actually- Many thanks for all your input."
Carer of N, group member
Social Prescriber of C, group member
Our aims and objectives
We bring people together through music, to build their confidence, provide opportunities for socialising and teamwork. People are free to talk, share their story and express themselves within a safe environment.
Our aim is to create an environment that promotes and facilitates the following:
Opportunities for social engagement
Each person is listened to and respected in a safe environment
Growing in confidence and social skills – get back into being in a group of people that you may not have had in a long while; you build skills and grow in confidence together in the group
Reaching people who are isolated, lonely, lacking confidence, anxious and/or depressed. This can affect people at every stage and in every walk of life
Left unchecked, anxiety/depression can potentially reach a crisis point. We aim to help to prevent people from going into crisis by engaging people before they reach that point
“In the time I’ve been with Open Harmony, I’ve realised the dream to play guitar”
Of our community of 45 members:
91% (41) say they have increased confidence and wellbeing
49% (22) are leading and inspiring others through the creative projects (e.g. performances, producing their own music) they've started during their time spent with Open Harmony
47% (21) have entered training, education, volunteering or paid employment
172 group sessions delivered to our community members since June 2020: online via zoom, in-person and a mixture of both online and in-person sessions
80 outreach sessions delivered with 1,000+ attendances to various groups e.g. adults with learning disabilities at Fordhall Farm, looked after children at Shrewsbury Town FC Foundation, people living with dementia and their carers in nursing homes, young people needing support to live independent lives at the Hive
"One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain"