‘In An Octopus’s Garden’;
Evaluation of ‘Wishing Well’ Music in Healthcare Programme

Between 2017-18, we worked with Rhythmix; a music, social welfare and education charity which works with some of the most vulnerable people in South East England, helping to evaluate their 'Wishing Well' programme, which brings live musical interactions to children’s bedsides at Brighton’s Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.
The nature of the practice; particularly working on the Critical Care wards; with babies and children who are developmentally delayed, have complex needs or trauma; means that it is usually incredibly difficult to reliably observe and record the ‘evidence’.

Well Within Reach was commissioned to help ‘decode’ the meaningful, profound and psychotherapeutic-but usually ‘invisible’-impacts that the programme most likely has on the neurological and internal emotional states of children and families, with a particular focus on the difference the programme makes for non-verbal children and those with complex needs.

Wishing Well has now released a public version of the report, titled ‘In an Octopus’s Garden’, which also introduces several areas of appropriate research; such as 'Developmental Relationships' and 'Affective Neuroscience'; to help Wishing Well;
and other Arts in Health programmes; present the impact of their deeply important practice
to stakeholders, funders and other relevant sectors, through the lens of well-established psychological theories and frameworks.

Download a copy of ‘In an Octopus’s Garden’ here.

‘The Sound of the Next Generation’;
Report with Youth Music and Ipsos MORI

The Sound of the Next Generation is a comprehensive review of children and young people's relationship with music, published by Youth Music, a national charity investing in music-making projects that help children develop personally and socially as well as musically; in particular those young people whose circumstances mean they would otherwise
have poor access to opportunities in music.

Youth Music worked with UK social research company Ipsos MORI to create this youth-focused research; surveying over a thousand young people, interviewing both Youth Music project participants and industry leaders and experts to understand the context of the findings and the wider impact of music on society.

The report addresses the diverse ways that young people engage, and the positive impacts music has on them, including wellbeing; Unsurprisingly, the research revealed that music is essential to that, with 85% of participants saying that music made them feel happy.

Well Within Reach has been involved in number of Youth Music funded projects, and so we contributed to the report, providing insights into the powerful ways that music-making can nurture and support the emotional wellbeing, social integration and mental health of young people; particularly those who are somehow disadvantaged, excluded or otherwise ‘vulnerable’.

Visit Youth Music to find out more or to download the report.


“Empowered Parenting”; Essential Info Sessions for Parents

In recent years, we’ve increasingly been approached by parents expressing all sorts of concerns around their children; declining engagement, mental-health, challenging behaviour, defeatist attitudes, school anxiety... the list goes on...
We've already teamed up with some of our partners to deliver sessions for parents but; in response to the many issues parents share with
is directly; we've embarked on a new venture; Informative, responsive, actionable sessions for parents.

We don’t tell parents ‘what to do’ or ‘how to parent’ but; by sharing the most up-to-date, practical information; we equip parents
with the tools and knowledge to better understand their children’s learning, behaviours & attitudes, and respond in the most effective,
guilt and stress-free ways. Examples of six of our ‘Empowered Parenting’ sessions can be found here; These are all designed in response
to common parental concerns such as educational expectations, resilience, managing change, the journey through adolescence,
over-exposure to screens and how we protect their innate curiosity and desire to play.

We plan to expand this programme and so please share your most pressing concerns here, so we can develop the most relevant, useful info.