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Featured below are just some of the charities we support through our work. Thanks to all who have helped us raise money and gather resources for these wonderful organisations, and thanks to all who will in the future!

Making Music Changing Lives

“We believe that music enables participants to flourish, developing an increased sense of self worth, confidence, raised aspirations, and an improved quality of life. Our work brings together people of all ages, creating strong community spirit and a deep sense of pride through musical achievement.”

Making Music Changing Lives was founded by Revd. Jan Gould, a former professional musician, with the intent to transform the lives of children in Ely & Caerau through teaching them an orchestral instrument. The organisation now teaches around 40 children, aged 7 and over,  violin, viola, cello, flute, cornet and trombone. Children from families experiencing financial hardship are able to attend free of charge.

“I’m so glad I did it because in these challenges, I found self-confidence, determination and an ability to persevere. Supported by the encouraging staff and volunteers, I grew up learning how to play an instrument I love. It’s opened up new doors to me such as playing in my university symphony orchestra, and for that, MMCL has been an invaluable experience.”
– Caitlin

“The project has allowed me to make friends for life because of our passion for music and I believe it is a great opportunity for all young people, even just for the musical experience. You get the chance to enjoy music, be creative and make friends in the community.”
– Naomi

“The first thing that struck me was that the children got on so well with each other and were so keen to make music together. Because of Jan’s and James’ efforts it has all been made fun, which is how music lessons should be. One can see progress from week to week and Jan provides an exciting mix of repertoire. I have to admit that I can’t wait for Tuesdays to come round! We’ve done some excellent concerts and audiences have been visibly moved by the children’s endeavours.”
– Domini

“I don’t know what my future will bring, but I am sure that my love of music and playing violin will inspire me in many ways. I have made many friends through MMCL and gained lifelong skills. MMCL has made me a more confident and organized person – this project has really changed my life and lived up to its title.”
– Lewis

Anybody wishing to donate one or several instruments to Making Music Changing Lives can do so by visiting our shop. Please contact us on 029 20 227761, or


Arco is a collaborative project between Cape Gate MIAGI Music Centre, a music project in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa and Birmingham Conservatoire Strings Department. Arco aims to provide the benefits and life-changing inspiration of music to children living in extremely deprived circumstances.

Music is a powerful tool transcending both language and cultural boundaries. It can develop creativity, self-esteem, a sense of achievement and facilitate social cohesion. Arco provides transformative music education activities which are led by Birmingham Conservatoire musicians, who act as role models to vulnerable young people living in areas deeply affected by poverty and crime.

Students in South Africa participate in weekly instrumental Skype lessons given by teachers at Birmingham Conservatoire, in addition to the music lessons they receive in South Africa. Students also benefit from 1-2-1 mentoring, string quartet coaching and live event streaming of masterclasses, workshops and performances taking place within the Strings Department at Birmingham Conservatoire.  The year concludes for the participants with a 10-day immersive ARCO festival led by Birmingham Conservatoire musicians, hosted at the Cape Gate MIAGI Music Centre in Soweto, South Africa.  The festival includes concerts, classes, chamber music coaching, workshops and performances. The hope is that this project will provide a level of inspiration and education that is not readily available in South Africa, thereby encouraging young and talented musicians to aspire to the highest level of performance and acquire a deep love of music.

Arco always welcome sponsorship to fund the purchase of instruments required for the project. All instrument donors will receive a letter from the recipient of the instrument purchased through sponsorship, and a CD featuring musicians involved in the project.

If you would like to sponsor a quartet of instruments, your business or personal name will be attached to that particular group of instruments. Arco isn’t seeking expensive instruments; all instruments that work well will be accepted. If you would like to provide an instrument or financial donation please email:  or


SPANA was founded by Kate Hosali and her daughter Nina, after a trip to North Africa in 1923. Kate & Nina were deeply saddened by the treatment of working animals that they encountered during their trip. After returning home, they founded SPANA together, with the intent of creating more compassionate conditions for working animals.

Initially, SPANA grew gradually, serving animals in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. Today, the organisation’s work spans across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America. SPANA’s work includes providing free veterinary care to working animals to ease what could otherwise be a life of constant suffering, and sometimes SPANA’s treatment saves lives. In 2019, SPANA provided 312,000 free veterinary treatments, operated 29 fixed and mobile clinics throughout the world, and distributed 105,000 pieces of equipment.

SPANA also provide training for thousands of people from developing countries each year, including vets, vet students, farriers, technicians and teachers. SPANA teach techniques and provide knowledge that will lead to more humane treatment of animals. Additionally, SPANA operates 29 children’s education centres internationally, and in 2019 reached 64,000 children through their work.

Emergency response is at the heart of SPANA’s work. Much of Africa frequently faces drought and other climatic extremes, leading to suffering and often the death of working animals, and harm to the communities who are reliant upon them. SPANA provides water, food and treatment to animals, saving lives, relieving suffering, and stabilising communities.

We have supported SPANA for many years, and would like to thank all of our customers who’ve helped us donate over £1000 every year to SPANA.