Portland young musicians rock on at festival

CHEQUE THIS OUT: Portland Rocks youngsters celebrate a donation from Synergy Housing that has secured the project's near future

CHEQUE THIS OUT: Portland Rocks youngsters celebrate a donation from Synergy Housing that has secured the project's near future

First published in News by

YOUNG musicians will be hitting the high notes at the South West ‘Music for Youth’ Festival and beyond after a series of much-needed donations.

Members of the ‘Portland Rocks’ Youth Music project are celebrating a ‘substantial donation’ of £3,000 from Synergy Housing that has secured the future of the community group.

Its young musicians have also received a £150 boost from the Dorset Blues Society’s (DBS) education fund, which will go towards the costs of performing at the regional Music for Youth event in Taunton, Somerset on Saturday, March 24.

A Portland Rotary Club cake sale raised £300 for the project and the George pub donated money from its bonus ball fund and allowed bands to hold live music performances to raise another £200 for Portland Rocks.

Now, in the latest run of good fortune, the Coop Community Fund is awarding the group £1,900, which will be used to look into establishing Portland Rocks as a charity or social enterprise to secure its future.

Portland Rocks project manager Martyn Mullender said: “The staff and young people involved in the project would like to publicly thank all those who have supported the project and helped secure the future for Portland Rocks. Without Synergy Housing’s substantial donation Portland Rocks would really be struggling.

“It has basically secured our future until September 2012 and bought us valuable time to secure other funding.”

The island’s project, which is dedicated to young people’s music making, was launched in September 2009 with a grant from the National Foundation for Youth Music.

When that funding ran out at the end of 2011, a project steering group, headed by Mr Mullender, set about to raise funds.

In late February, the Portland Rocks weekly workshops at the Islanders Club received visitors from Synergy Housing’s Portland neighbourhood panel and the community development team.

The panel funded the project £1,500 which was match funded by the community development team.

A cheque for £3,000 was then presented to support the project.

Tom Hopkins, founder and chairman of the Dorset Blues Society, which donated £150 to the group, said “We are delighted to be able to support “Portland Rocks’ involvement in this event, which will give their young musicians invaluable experience of performing in public at regional level.”

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