Charity of the Month

The Amber Trust

This month we are raising money for The Amber Trust, whose vision is to give blind or partially-sighted children the best possible chance to fulfil their musical aspirations.

The Amber Trust was founded in 1995 to help blind and partially sighted children across the UK, who have a talent or love for music.  They believe that visual impairment and other disabilities should not prevent children and young people accessing appropriate musical opportunities.

At Christmas 2017, you may remember seeing Acton’s ‘Sing Gospel’ choir perform their Christmas single, Silent Night featuring mezzo-soprano Alice Cadman, in aid of the Amber Trust.  Silent Night, uniquely arranged for Sing Gospel by Keith Routledge, was a mix of the classical voice of Alice Cadman and intricate gospel choir harmonies of Sing Gospel. Partially-sighted herself, Alice has a passion for raising awareness of sight loss and disability in education and business, and teamed up with her husband Josh, musical director of Sing Gospel, to create a Christmas single that would do just that.  The single formed part of Sing Gospel’s debut album ‘Sing Christmas’.

Visual impairment is something very close to Alice’s heart, having been diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a juvenile form of macular dystrophy, at the age of 23 whilst studying singing at the Royal Northern College of Music. Undeterred, Alice set up a music education business, Sing Academy (alongside Josh Cadman and Bert Routledge) and works as a professional singer.

Many of us were fortunate enough to receive music lessons as children, or had access to music within our school or church lives. Many families in the UK who care for one of the 25,000 children with little or no sight, live in relative poverty and cannot afford to give them the musical experiences that can transform their lives.  The Amber Trust provides grants to these children for music lessons, music therapy, instruments, equipment and concert tickets.

For some children, learning to play an instrument or to sing can add immeasurably to their lives.  For others, many of whom have severe

learning difficulties, music therapy may offer a lifeline.  With the right encouragement, these children can develop their talents to remarkable ends, breaking down barriers, promoting social inclusion and helping to fulfil their potential as individuals and musicians.

The Amber Trust works with other charities to raise awareness of the special value of music for these visually impaired children.  They fund research into the impact of music and develop materials to help support the musical development of children.  Through research, The Amber Trust knows that music has the power to influence change in so many aspects of a child’s life: change that can last a lifetime.

Bert Routledge

More about us
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Webpage icon The Crayle Sermon
Webpage icon Crayle Sermon 2017
Webpage icon Remembering the Fallen of Acton
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