Making a Big Noise in Wester Hailes

Big Noise Wester Hailes

Sistema Scotland is delighted to announce that a new Big Noise programme will begin in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh in spring 2022.

The charity is working in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council and with Clovenstone, Canal View and Sighthill Primary and Nursery Schools.

Big Noise Wester Hailes will work initially with all children in Primary 1 and 2. Over the course of its first year, the programme will expand to reach all nursery to Primary 3 age children, approximately 400 participants in total across the community.

The project will grow year on year, retaining the involvement of the children as they age, and introducing the next generations of nursery and Primary 1 children. It will ultimately work with babies through to school-leavers in Wester Hailes, as well as offering opportunities to stay involved in the programme as adults.

Big Noise is a high-quality music education and social change programme, where the symphony orchestra becomes a community which supports children and young people to gain vital life skills such as confidence, resilience, creativity and aspiration. Through music and nurturing relationships, from infancy to adulthood, Big Noise supports participants’ wellbeing and helps them reach their full potential. The programme also aims to strengthen the amazing communities where it is based; developing relationships with participants and their families based on mutual respect, trust and a commitment to work together and tackle inequalities for the long term.

There are currently four Big Noise programmes, operating in Raploch (Stirling), Govanhill (Glasgow), Torry (Aberdeen) and Douglas (Dundee). This will be the first Big Noise programme to be based in Scotland’s capital city. Independent evaluation of the Big Noise model by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health has shown that taking part in Big Noise helps children to improve their concentration and language skills, enhance their problem solving and decision making, increase their self-esteem and develop strong friendships and support networks.

Councillor Ian Perry, Education, Children and Families Convener for City of Edinburgh Council, said:

I am extremely pleased to welcome Sistema Scotland to Edinburgh and very much look forward to seeing the Big Noise programme in action, working with and supporting children, young people and families within the Wester Hailes community.

Benny Higgins, Chairman of Sistema Scotland, said:

Sistema Scotland believes that all children and young people have great skills, talents and potential. We also know that many of Scotland’s communities face long-standing inequalities and challenges that make it extremely difficult for children to achieve their hopes, ambitions and dreams. The impact of Covid-19 has greatly exacerbated these inequalities. Now more than ever, we must think and act creatively to ensure Scotland’s children are given the opportunities and support that they deserve.

Our charity is committed to ensuring that more children and communities across Scotland are able to take part in Big Noise and I am delighted that Wester Hailes will be the home of the next Big Noise programme.

Nicola Killean OBE, Chief Executive of Sistema Scotland, said:

We are greatly looking forward to starting a new Big Noise programme in Wester Hailes which will work in partnership with children, young people, families, schools and the community for many years to come. We also hope to work alongside local charities and community groups to bring additional support and value to Wester Hailes.

Nicola Benedetti CBE, internationally-renowned violinist and official Big Sister to the participants of Big Noise, said:

Sistema Scotland’s consistent dedication to quality and expansion is an inspiration to all of us and I am so excited that they are finally in Edinburgh with this new Big Noise programme at Wester Hailes.

Sam Laidlaw, mother of three from Wester Hailes, said:

Big Noise coming to Wester Hailes is such a great opportunity. Taking part in Big Noise will help the children grow their confidence. I'm excited to see the joy in the children's faces as they explore music and movement. They will also come away from the programme with the ability to play a musical instrument by the time they leave high school which is great. I think Big Noise will help bring the community together and bring people together from different areas of Wester Hailes. I think it will bring a sense of pride to the community.

Published: June 29th 2021