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Sage Gateshead



Posted on 4 February 2022

Barclays credit Mark Savage

Music-making for more than 5,000 people from across the region will continue through Sage Gateshead thanks to support from Barclays’ 100×100 Programme.

As the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt, the funding from Barclays comes at a crucial time and will help Sage Gateshead to support individuals and communities impacted by Covid-19, and to alleviate the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the loss of up to 80% of its income, Sage Gateshead remained a vital lifeline for communities by moving activities online and creating a safe digital platform for children and young people.

Lauren attends Feels Like Home, online music classes for 0-5 years, with her two young daughters. Living in rural Northumberland, Lauren values the connectivity of the classes. She explains:

‘As a home-educating family, we obviously have to provide experiences ourselves, so it was a relief when I discovered your Zoom music sessions. I am so appreciative of Sage Gateshead and what it provides for all manner of people. In the future, I hope to be able to bring my two girls to classes and workshops but for now, we are happily playing and singing along.’

The North East entered the Covid-19 crisis with some of the highest UK rates of unemployment, poverty, poor mental health and low educational attainment, and has now been disproportionally affected by the pandemic. As well as continuing to fund online activity such as Feels Like Home, the finding will ensure that Sage Gateshead can continue to deliver important work to local people and communities.

This activity includes music classes for adopted children and their families, music training for young adults with additional support needs, instrumental tuition for primary school children in West Newcastle facing socio-economic challenges, and instrumental tuition for 5-19 year olds through its Young Musicians Programme where over 50% of students receive bursaries. The funding will also support Sage Gateshead’s community music programme for people over the age of 50 in three Gateshead wards with high levels of loneliness, as well as those accessing the charity’s online group music classes for any age.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director, Sage Gateshead: “We’re proud that Barclays is supporting this work. We know how important music is to our physical and mental health, to reducing isolation and loneliness, as well as building skills and increasing life aspirations. It is thanks to the generosity of businesses such as Barclays that we can help ensure that thousands of individuals in communities most impacted by the pandemic can access the life-changing benefits of music-making.

Geoff Watson, Market Director for Barclays commented: “With the long-term impacts of the pandemic still being felt, I’m proud that Barclays continues to play a positive role in our society. By working with charities like Sage Gateshead, much-needed support will reach the many people in our region still dealing with mental health issues, isolation and loneliness and we are immensely grateful for their work in our communities. I’ve seen first-hand the life-changing impact music-making can have on peoples’ lives and we hope that by partnering with incredible local charities like Sage Gateshead, we can continue to help people in need as they emerge from the crisis.”



Image (left to right): Fraser Anderson (Director, External Relations and Strategic Development, Sage Gateshead), Geoff Watson (Market Director, Barclays), Juliette Tate (Project Musician, Sage Gateshead)

For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Jackie Thompson, Corporate Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead   0191 443 4602

Susie Gray, Director, The Corner Shop PR, 07834 073795

About Barclays 100×100 Programme:

Barclays is committed to helping its customers, clients, colleagues, and the wider community deal with the unprecedented social and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. As part of Barclays’ £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package, the bank launched its 100×100 Programme to get support right into the heart of local communities across the UK and reach those that need it. Through the programme, Barclays is supporting 250 UK grassroots charities with donations of £100,000 to deliver impactful on-the-ground support to local communities affected by the pandemic.