Brighton band bang their own drum thanks to Care UK grant

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A Brighton carnival arts group that promotes inclusivity for people with special needs and helps to develop a passion for music is to receive a £2,000 grant from the Care UK Wellbeing Foundation.

The grant, the first presented by the foundation to a project in East Sussex, was presented to Unified Rhythm by board member Sarah Chubb on Thursday 13 November in Brighton.

The group seeks to challenge perceptions about disability while creating a dynamic music experience open to the whole community. The project was founded 15 years ago as a way of bringing a mainstream and a special needs college in Brighton together and since then there has been no looking back, with the group regularly performing at local events and venues including the Kemp Town Carnival, Children’s Parade, Brighton Corn Exchange and at the AmEx Stadium.

Project manager Trish Varndall said the group was delighted when the announcement about the grant was made. She said: “Our instruments are much loved and much played and years of enthusiastic drumming have taken their toll.

“This generous grant means we will be able to re-skin some of our drums, buy new instruments and sticks and buy t-shirts for performers to wear as they spread joy and rhythm throughout the streets of Brighton.”

Sarah Chubb, Care UK’s head of group human resources and a foundation board member, said: “The board was moved by the passion of the group and its commitment to inclusivity. The foundation aims to promote wellbeing through the arts and it’s clear to see that the whole community benefits from the outstanding work of Unified Rhythm.

“Through music, dance and singing, people with special educational needs grow in confidence and find they have equal ability to express themselves. They also have the chance to build strong and joyful relationships and this is a shining example of what we at the Care UK Wellbeing Foundation are trying to achieve.”

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