Co-op Community Fund will make CD dreams a reality

Earlier this year, Yarrow’s Arts Centre The Gate was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the projects to benefit from the Co-op Community Fund. Every time a Co-op member shops in the store, 1% of what they spend on some own-brand products goes to help local community projects. It’s a great scheme that has helped to fund lots of projects across the UK.

The Gate wanted to fund the production of a CD of music by their musicians. Over the last four years they have written and performed some fabulous tracks with Gate Custard, but The Gate really wanted to bring them to a wider audience.

We were thrilled to find out this month that the total raised by the fund is £5,874.91! This far exceeded the team’s hopes and will enable them to produce a CD with professional mastering, meaning it will have far better sound quality than could be achieved on their existing equipment.

This is really important to the team at The Gate, because the CD will help to spread the word about the amazing music being created here. Challenging preconceptions about what people with learning disabilities are capable of is one of our main aims at Yarrow. Our community is often marginalised and socially excluded and being able to demonstrate the talents of people with learning disabilities in this way will help to bring greater understanding and acceptance among people without disabilities. The team will be able to sell the CD at music festivals and events too.

We’d like to say a big thank you to the CoOp, who helped us to make sure our involvement in the fund was such a big success. The local stores and their staff supported us every step of the way and went above and beyond by also helping with donations of groceries for our healthy eating cookery sessions too.

The musicians at The Gate are really excited to complete the recording. Some of the songs have already been set down thanks to the support of Sausage Studios in Hackney. Here are Leon and Josh in action at the Studios earlier this month:

Leon and Josh getting to grips with the bass and guitar at Sausage Studios
Leon and Josh getting to grips with the bass and guitar at Sausage Studios

We’ll be recording the rest early of the tracks early in the new year. Then we’ll plan for the CD to be released in summer, and with the extra money raised we’ll explore the options for a live show at a local venue. If you’d like to be the first to know about this, don’t forget to follow the Yarrow Twitter and Facebook accounts and The Gate’s Twitter account, where we’ll publish all the details! You can also get a flavour of the music at The Gate’s blogspot page, which has a full video of the most recent Gate Custard show – just click here to see it: Gate Custard 4 Video.

And while we have your attention, please take a look at our next big fundraising effort: Yarrow Board Member, Prodromos Sarigianis, is running the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2019. He’s set a really ambitious target of £5,000 to raise for The Gate, which would enable the team to buy new instruments and recording equipment to help ensure projects like this continue in future. These fundraising campaigns are vital for The Gate during this time of cut-backs, to make sure that people that sometimes fall through the cracks still have places to go. If you are able to support us in any way, please follow this link to make a donation via the secure Virgin Money Giving website. We’re really grateful for any amount you can give, however small: it all makes a big difference!


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