Local MP Visits Big Noise in Stirling ahead of new programme starting in Wester Hailes

Joanna Cherry QC, Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South West, has visited the Big Noise Raploch ahead of a new Big Noise programme starting in Wester Hailes early next year. The Big Noise programmes are run by the charity Sistema Scotland, which uses a long-term, immersive and community-focused approach to music education alongside a commitment to nurturing relationships to help children and young people realise their potential.

Big Noise Wester Hailes is planned to begin in spring 2022 and will work initially with all children in Primary 1 and 2 attending Canalview, Clovenstone and Sighthill Primary Schools. Over 2022-23, the programme will expand to reach all nursery to Primary 3 age children, approximately 400 participants in total across the community. Big Noise 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.

Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise model has been independently evaluated by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) since 2013. They have evidenced a wide range of benefits from taking part, including increased confidence, discipline, and aspiration as well as improved team-working, communication and leadership skills. Their research shows that being involved in Big Noise also improves academic skills including listening, concentration and creativity.

Ms Cherry QC met with Nicola Killean, CEO of Sistema Scotland and with a number of older Big Noise Raploch’s participants and alumni to hear more about the experience of growing up in a Big Noise programme and how it has shaped their hopes and ambitions for the future.

Edinburgh South West MP Joanna Cherry QC said:

It is incredibly exciting to see Big Noise coming to Wester Hailes. It was inspiring to hear from some of the young people who have grown up with Big Noise about the positive impact it has had on their confidence and wellbeing. I was so impressed at what many of them have achieved since – from places at prestigious music institutions to job opportunities to leadership roles in their community. I look forward to working with Big Noise, its partner schools and other local organisations supporting young people and families in the community over the coming months.

Nicola Killean, CEO of Sistema Scotland said:

Sistema Scotland is committed to supporting children, young people and families, through our Big Noise programmes, to becoming happy, healthy and confident adults and to strengthen the amazing communities we work alongside. We are delighted that we will soon be starting our fifth Big Noise programme in Wester Hailes. We are excited to work alongside the schools, local charities and community groups already doing wonderful work in Wester Hailes to bring additional support and value to the community.

Maggie Hutchison, parent to three children who have taken part in Big Noise Raploch said:

I’m so glad that children and families in Wester Hailes will be able to get the benefits from Big Noise that we’ve had here in Raploch. This has been a life-changing experience for my children and my community.

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