IT is not just People’s Postcode Lottery winners in Didcot who have something to celebrate as ticket sales have saved an Abingdon music charity from closure.

Money from the lottery, which donates a third of entry costs to charity, has funded a music project run by Abingdon Music Centre Trust and led to a partnership with Larkmead School that has secured a new home for the charity.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery raised £825,000 for Youth Music, a national charity supporting vulnerable children through music.

The charity funds 350 music projects around the country with several taking place in Oxfordshire, including the Ark T and Fusion projects in Oxford and the one run by Abingdon Music Centre Trust.

The project is designed to help vulnerable young people from Abingdon and the surrounding villages, who face challenges including anxiety, special educational needs, mental health issues or living in areas of economic deprivation.

Helen Eccleston, director of Abingdon Music Centre Trust, said the centre had been facing closure until receiving help from national music charity.

She added: “The project led to an exciting partnership that has essentially saved Abingdon Music Centre from threat of closure.

"Larkmead School have invited us to relocate to their music building. This has enabled us to continue working towards our charitable objectives of ‘Music for Everyone’ and placed us in a strong position to collaborate and expand our offering locally.”

Young participants were able to select the instrument or music technology of their choice and learn how to create music in their favourite genre with the help of tutors from Abingdon Music Centre.

Professional singer-songwriter Alice Zawadzki, a former Larkmead pupil and Vocalist of the Year nominee in the 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, also visited the centre to perform and lead a workshop with the budding young musicians.

This proved to be inspirational for one young participant, Jazmine Andrews, who then co-wrote a song about bullying called Sticks and Stones.

She said: "Not many people do songs about bullying, we wanted to be different. I’m actually quite proud of myself. I never used to come to school really in Year 8.

"I now feel if I don’t come to school I might be missing out on something. It’s brought out a lot of confidence in me.”

Clara Govier, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “It’s wonderful to see the impact money raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery is having across Oxfordshire and beyond.

"Many of the young people Youth Music is supporting face difficult challenges and it’s great to see how these music projects are transforming their lives.

"It goes to show that the wonderful support players give to organisations such as Youth Music can be life-changing."