South London music charity keeps good work up

20 April 2012

Students at Midi MusicA South London music charity can continue its good work keeping young people out of gangs and crime - thanks to the financial help from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) who stepped in to help after everyone else said no.

The CAF Social Impact Fund has been described as a ‘financial life-line’ by The Midi Music Company, based in Deptford, South London, which helps 2,500 disadvantaged children and young people aged 5-30 every year get inspired about music and its industry by offering a variety of engaging courses. 

The charity, whose patrons include musicians such as Jazzie B OBE, Shovell and Normski, has received a loan of £36,000 from CAF after being turned away by its local bank.

Jazzie B said, “Our children and young people are disenfranchised and our work is more vital than ever. Our work leads to careers in the creative and cultural industries, and has inspired and supported many young people, some of whom may have otherwise got involved in gang violence and crime.

He warned. “Now is not the time to be making cuts - just look at the riots and youth unemployment figures.”

The charity has helped thousands of kids in Deptford since it was established in 1995.

Oggie is one of MMC’s many success stories. He said, “Midi Music Company has been an instrumental and positive support system throughout my musical career, starting out as a Youth Steering Committee member I was able to be a part of creating ideas that have now helped many people pursue a great future in music. I released my second Garage single ‘You’ with the support of MMC.

I'm currently in the West End Musical ‘Thriller Live’, and I couldn't stress how important it is to have an organisation like The Midi Music Company around as a great stepping stone and bridge to the music industry.

Executive Director Wozzy Brewster, OBE was open about the tough times the charity sector is currently facing.

She said, “I've been working in the sector for 30 years and things have never been so tough financially - the funding landscape for charities is in crisis. For the first time in our 17 year history we have had problems with our cashflow and need financial help.

Our local high street bank, where we've been a customer since we were founded, would not help us. We tried all the Trusts and Grants routes, but I could see that they are overwhelmed. The CAF Social Impact Fund has provided our charity with a financial life-line.”

The Midi Music Company is one of many charities, social enterprises and community groups in the UK to have received loans from the CAF Social Impact Fund since it was launched last year. 

Director of Social Investment at CAF, Stephanie Poole, says: “The financial hardship faced by the Midi Music Company is by no means unique. Increasingly, we’ve seen high street lenders turning their backs on charities and social enterprises, just when they need them most. But it’s an exciting time for social investment in the UK and we’re proud that the CAF Social Impact Fund has been able to help charities and social enterprises at a time of great need.
“We’re calling on more individuals and businesses to explore the potential of social investment to underpin and strengthen communities and support vulnerable people across the UK and beyond.”

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