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Innovate funding project

Innovate 2020

Innovate is our groundbreaking programme that supports unique music projects for children and young people in challenging circumstances in London.

Applications for Innovate 2020-2021 are now closed

If you are working with people age 0-25 in London through music then you can apply for support and investment of up to £2,000 to explore new ideas and approaches to working with children and young people. Providing funding, project mentoring and support, Innovate is particularly aimed at individuals and grassroots organisations looking to launch or incubate a project idea and develop fundraising skills.

We are most interested to receive applications that:

  • Have inclusion and social justice at the heart of the project;
  • Work in consultation and collaboration with people age 25 and under – ie people under the age of 25 are involved in making decisions about the project from the start;
  • Consider accessibility from the start by using the principles of the social model of disability;
  • Focus on Early Years, ie working with babies and very young children age 0-5;
  • take a multi-agency approach, ie working in partnership with non-music partners such as youth centres, Pupil Referral Units, community groups, nurseries etc.

Successful candidates work in close partnership with Sound Connections to develop and deliver the project. Every project and organisation’s needs are different, so the Innovate Programme can be used to find the most appropriate support for you.

Last year, Innovate supported:

  • A youth-led research programme investigating the roots, social significance and educational capacity of drill music;
  • A community choir of boys and young men, particularly targeted at those in transition from primary-secondary school;
  • A project bringing samba drumming into community spaces which cater to the needs of young people with a migration background;
  • The development of a series of Jam sessions planned and managed by a group of entrepreneurial young people.

Two of our Innovate applicants are now working more closely with Sound Connections in our broader workforce development programme: Ciaran Thapar is leading our three Music and Social Justice network workshops; and Pumpkin Jigsaw are delivering a community-led training event on Using Carnival Themes in Youth Music Workshops.

We are grateful to the National Foundation for Youth Music for supporting this work.

See past Innovate projects here >


As a small charity we rely upon donations from generous individuals, trusts and companies to support our work with children and young people across London.

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