"Music often serves as medicine in our home, both taking us outside of ourselves for a while, as well as putting us in touch with our emotions. Throughout this lockdown, so much of our lives have involved music.
Those moments when there was no music was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. There were days when I was in tears and both my sons (one neurotypical teenager, one autistic 8-year-old) were in tears. One morning when my younger son went to sleep after a particularly difficult night, my older son - in between his online schooling - asked ‘What are we going to do?’. He didn’t ask what ‘I’ was going to do, but what ‘we’ were going to do. He has taken on an enormous responsibility because he loves his brother so much, but in doing so, he has made extraordinary sacrifices in his own life. The role of carer-siblings is unquestionably overlooked, and this pandemic has only amplified that.
ONE BOX is remembering and rewarding the ‘always come second’ siblings, providing them with a chance to be creative, expressive, to remind them how much they matter." - Lisha, Queensmill Parent
ONE BOX (for each child) will contain:
2 x bells, 2 x boomwhacker, 1 x castanet, 2 x egg shakers, 1 x glockenspiel or recorder, 2 x maracas,1 x tambourine, 1 x ukulele or thumb drum or stylophone
+ Bespoke Activity sheets.
Siblings will also be invited to take part in a series of online music workshops with Holly Khan!
Caring responsibilities for young people who have siblings with SEND has gone up by 50% during the course of the pandemic, with 80% of these siblings stating their mental health has rapidly declined during this time.
Outside the pandemic a SEND child would have access to various services, attend school with extra care for most of the day and this would give parents and siblings respite. Now, not only are the siblings taking on extra care duties, their time and resources to find enjoyment out of activities has decreased significantly.
This is, and often has been, a forgotten group of disproportionately affected young people. The focus, time and resource is often on the SEND child. How can we ensure their siblings have vital creative time and therefore can fulfil their caring duties happily in the family setting? https://www.youngsibs.org.uk/
ONE BOX is a new initiative dreamt up by Holly Khan - a specialist music facilitator, composer https://www.holly-khan.com/ who has worked extensively with vulnerable, marginalised and isolated community groups and has seen first hand the transformative power of music and the opportunity it brings. She is organising this campaign during her time on the Year Here Fellowship https://yearhere.org/.
Holly will be joined by Zoë Robinson to support the administration on this project. Zoë is a leading children’s theatre producer (currently at Polka Theatre Wimbledon https://polkatheatre.com/) who consistently and continually champions arts for all whatever your background or ability.
"Holly demonstrates a remarkable level of personal authority, warmth and ability to connect with participants and create a rich and diverse learning experience. Our programme literally took off as a result of Holly’s intervention”
- Sue Machell, Director in the Hospital and HealthCare Industry
“She was a great representation of what the participants could achieve throughout the process. Leading by example vocally and expressively allowed the participants to respond with the same level of energy”
- Staff on Inspired:Arts Project Dec 2020 with Create Charity.
Our aim is to deliver boxes just before the Easter Holidays. We’ll need a month to organise the boxes so this page will be live from Saturday 6th February to Friday 5th March 2021.
We are partnering with Queensmill, https://www.queensmillschool.com/, an autism specialist school to identify the young siblings who need this help.
"Without a doubt, COVID 19 has intensified the feelings of isolation, anxiety and suffering experienced by our families. Supporting their mental health and wellbeing has been challenging in the face of social distancing measures, and our sibling support group has certainly suffered as a result.
ONE BOX will give us the opportunity to start rebuilding these invaluable resources. Now, more than ever, do our siblings need to be seen and heard. ONE BOX will provide a positive and celebratory creative experience for these unsung heroes. Heroes whose continual support, love and sacrifice have helped keep their families afloat during these trying times."
- Elise Robinson, Drama Lead at Queensmill School.
£10 = 1/5 of a Box
£25 = 1/2 of a Box
£50 = 1 WHOLE Box
£100 = 2 Boxes, wow
£250 = 5 Boxes, wowey
£500 = 10 Boxes, WOW
"Though this lockdown hasn’t been easy for anyone, I feel as though it’s safe to say autistic individuals have had a more difficult time than others. This is part of the reason I find this project to be so respectable and with the most remarkable intentions. Siblings, parents, carers and anyone who lives with an autistic person has also had a very difficult time during the pandemic so I’m confident in saying that something like this is needed by all within the autistic community, especially siblings. I have ever-lasting respect for the creative initiative behind this and the service they are providing for this community, giving options during this rather dire time. Music means something different to different people and inspires people in various ways, but no matter what effect it has on you, I believe it to be a very special part of many people’s life. Thank you for what you are doing."
- Enlai, 13yr old sibling to a student at Queensmill