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Ebony Helps UK Youths
Through Steelpan

By Neidi Lee-Sing Rojas

Ebony Steel Band Trust is Europe’s leading steel pan organization and is working towards offering young people the opportunity to develop their music interests and offers young people the opportunity to become “Millennium Volunteers (MV).”

Ebony Steel Orchestra - Carnival 2001

The Ebony Steelband Trust is a leading Arts charity and has achieved outstanding success in its aim of teaching and in the performance of steelpan music.  Ebony’s ‘MV' Scheme has been designed to give entrant skills in steelpan playing, tuning, repair of steelpan instruments and skills in music making, and also opportunities of singing/ recording in an up-to-date digital recording studio.

This is coupled with opportunities to get out into the community, local schools and youth centres to help start up local steelpan bands and interest groups as well as developing the young musicians' own creative ideas.  Participating volunteers in Ebony Steelband Trust's MV' Scheme also get a chance to travel with the band to several year-round events and activities, including the Notting Hill Carnival.  Former MVs have traveled abroad with the band to places such as Trinidad and Tobago for the annual Panorama competition.

Millennium Volunteers is funded by the Department for Education and Skill (DfES) and aims to encourage young people aged 16 - 24, to volunteer for the benefit of their local community.  Ebony Steel Band is an Millennium Volunteers (MV) Delivery Partner of CSV Consulting.

After 100 hours, youths receive a Millennium Volunteers certificate award signed by the DfES and after 200 hours, they receive a Millennium Volunteers Award of Excellence.  MV was set up in 1999 by MP David Blunkett, former Home Secretary and former Secretary of State for Education and Skill.

Being an MV not only builds up their experience in the social sector, but they also receive recognition in the form of this award.

Ebony Steel Orchestra - Carnival 2001

These MV awards are recognized by companies and institutes of further and higher education as an important part of a CV.  They also help improve the young people's chances of employment, or  of furthering an existing career. Their voluntary work will equip them with valuable skills that any employer would want to see.  Employers know that Millennium Volunteers are people with motivation, dedication and the ability to work hard.

The MV programme is especially a great way of “getting youths off the streets and away from crime, and channel their energies and talents into something useful, but at the same time, having fun learning music.”

“What better way to do something positive with their lives, while building up their CVs for future employment?”


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