Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Supported by: Clark Thomson Insurance Broker


Background: Orkney is situated off the north coast of Scotland and can only be accessed via ferry or aeroplane. Orkney is made up of 70 islands, of which 18 are inhabited. The main island of Orkney (Mainland) has a population of approximately 17,000, with a further 3,000 people living on the outer islands. The community is disadvantaged by its sheer remoteness from main centres of population. It can be expensive and difficult to travel to and from the Islands. Poverty is often masked by landscape, but fuel poverty is 1.5 times the national average. Employment opportunities are reduced due to the remote nature of Island living. Music is one of the main cornerstones of this islands life, culture and heritage, it brings people together, helps to provide an activity that transcends age, gender and ethnicity. It is essential that the togetherness and connectivity of these fragile Island communities are maintained, economic barriers to access of services are minimised and that they are supported in gaining better access to opportunities and services. Island communities and their cultural traditions are under threat.
Wrigley and the Reel Life Foundation is a charity whose aim is to promote traditional Orcadian music and culture, across all age groups and social classes, but with specific emphasis on under 25s, over 55s, people who have ill-health infirmity, mental health challenges, dementia or physical mobility issues. They aim to make music accessible to all people living in Orkney including some of the more hard to reach communities living in isolated areas of Orkney irrespective of social, geographical or economic barriers.
The Project: has two main strands, initially to purchase several laptops with digital music interface’s and fully licenced musical composition software installed onto each laptop at no cost to the individual using the equipment, thereby removing economic barriers to access as well as giving life-long learning opportunities to people of all ages to learn how to use modern composition software. It will assist them in creating original music scores or adapting/modifying existing music of all genre’s, including, modern folk, blues, jazz, and more contemporary music. This will be done by initially running eight free sessions for up to ten people per session. The sessions will be taught by music tutors experienced in the use and applications of the software in and around the more remote Orkney Isles and parishes. The laptops with software will be available for free loan to music composers in some of the more remote Islands and parishes when not required for taught sessions. Creating new music in the Orcadian style, maintaining the unique cultural, style, phrasing and nuances of traditional music is very important. Encouraging the composition of new music in all genres is important in order to involve as many people as possible. This proposal will allow for lifelong learning, improve self-confidence and a sense of achievement, and encourage social integrations, intergenerational mix and removes economic barriers to access. It is well accepted that music has great therapeutic properties. The evidence base is well established and accepted, it helps with an individual’s well-being and mindfulness, allows for friendships and informal networks to be formed. It helps to maintain intergenerational and general connectivity in the community.

Wrigley and The Reel Life Foundation

Moment of Pride

Working in partnership with local communities and charities to support the strong musical and cultural traditions of Orkney and provide opportunities across all age and social groupings thereby strengthening the general wellbeing of the community.

Location: Orkney, UK