Piping in the New Year

December 31, 2020

Mind the Pipes and Drums was developed with veterans in Northern Ireland so as to enable veterans to partake in music based, social activities where they could come together to learn new skills, and to develop a sense of achievement and pride. Over 130 veterans have taken part in this project, which was supported with a £35,000 grant through the Positive Pathway programme.

The project aims to improve veteran’s mental health by reducing social isolation as well as undertaking a form of music therapy.  Veterans with differing degrees of music experience come together in difficult times to support each other and develop a bond of camaraderie.   They have worked together to learn and perform the traditional song ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

The project has been developed and referrals into the programme received from a range of armed forces charities across Northern Ireland. 

Ricky McGaffin from the project said “Over the last nine months the band has become a place of safety for our members, many of whom have long-term disabilities and injuries. We have seen first-hand the difference it has made for many individuals,  and their families giving them a renewed sense of purpose and achievement. It is not simply a band, but a family, and we look back  on 2020 with pride about what we have achieved in such a short space of time.”

The Positive Pathways programme funds projects that develop and run activities supporting the mental health and wellbeing of ex-Forces.