The Amber Trust was created to help blind and partially sighted children, who have a talent or a love for music. Music really is of special importance to these children. For some, learning to play an instrument or to sing, or simply being able to go to a concert, can add immeasurably to their lives. For others, many of whom have severe learning difficulties, music therapy may offer a lifeline, helping them to reach out in a dark and confusing world.
For all the children Amber supports music has a significant impact. It not only gives them great joy, it encourages them to learn, boosts their confidence and helps them to share their thoughts and feelings with others, opening up a world of independence, fulfilment and hope for the future. With many blind children in the UK living in relative poverty, they suffer a double disadvantage. Their families cannot afford to give them the musical experiences that can make such a difference to their lives.
In order to help these remarkable children we have established The Amber Music Awards, which pay for:
- Music lessons
- Music therapy sessions
- Musical instruments
- Music software, such as Sibelius
- Concert tickets
- Travel related to musical activities
Why Amber is needed
Many of the blind or partially sighted children living in the UK have a real flair for music and, given the right support, they can develop their talents to remarkable ends, fulfilling their potential as individuals as well as musicians.
Amber knows that children with sight loss, such as brothers Luke and Scott, including those with additional disabilities, are less likely than sighted children to receive tuition or assistance. This is often due to discrimination and to other people’s misunderstandings about disability.
When a child with special needs shows an interest in music, progressing this requires funds that are often not available, as many families with disabled children cannot afford to buy even the most basic leisure equipment that many of us take for granted. This is why what we do is so important.
Faith’s piano teacher says:
I appreciate the work you are doing, having taught in a school for the blind for many years, working with multiply disabled visually impaired children. It is good to be able to ‘unlock’ so much that is within them through music and to see their joy. In all my years of teaching there have been very few children who have not responded to music. Long may your work continue.