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Thursday 23 May 2024

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Karine Polwart joins Help Musicians as Ambassador

May 6, 2022

Talented group of music industry executives and a new artist Ambassador join Help Musicians as the charity seeks to reach more musicians of all genres of music across the U.K

* Help Musicians, the 101-year-old charity for musicians across the UK, has announced a range of new appointments across an array of genres and industry fields as it continues its ambitious outreach plans.

Bob Shennan, former BBC Group Managing Director, now Director of Audio at BBC Studios, begins his previously-announced role of Chairman this month, joining the new and existing talent helping the charity to reach even more musicians of all genres.

Celebrated folk artist Karine Polwart has become a new ambassador for the charity, joining the likes of Tasmin Little, Chris Difford, Natalya Romaniw and Bryan Adams. Scottish folk singer-songwriter Karine is a seven-times winner at The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including Folk Singer Of The Year 2018 and three times for Best Original Song. Over her 20-year career she has become a stalwart of the folk scene, both as a solo artist and member of the acclaimed super-group Spell Songs.

The board of trustees has also been reinforced with the appointment of Sam Jackson, Executive Vice President, Global Classics and Jazz at Universal Music Group, and Jim Benner, Global Music Lead at War Child and Children in Conflict. Sam and Jim join Judah Armani, Cliff Fluet, Silvia Montello and Stephen Swift who joined last year.

Following the charity’s extensive emergency support of over 19,000 musicians throughout the pandemic, Help Musicians is working to grow its reach even further in the coming years. These new appointments will help the charity maximise its opportunities and reach through more diverse trustee experience and building new relationships with artists, such as Karine, who share its aims and ethos.

James Ainscough, Chief Executive at Help Musicians, said

 “We’re so pleased to welcome these wonderfully talented individuals to amplify the charity’s voice and guide our ambitious plans for the future of Help Musicians. Music creators all over the UK are in a transitional period following the Covid restrictions; many are rebuilding their careers whilst some are having to start again and others are facing new challenges altogether. We’re here to support them in crisis and opportunity and having a diverse board of trustees and ambassadors is vital to reaching them and ensuring we provide the right support at the right time.”

Karine Polwart said: “A career in music can be precarious at the best of times, especially for freelance workers. But the past couple of years have been particularly stressful and insecure for musicians, both financially and emotionally. Many of my pals and peers have received financial support from the charity – but the organisation offers much more than this – I’m keen to spread the word about the wide support that’s available through the charity, and to ensure its distributed fairly and equitably, and meets the needs of musicians. I’m delighted to advocate for it within this new role.”

*Help Musicians is a charity that loves music and for over 100 years has been working hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians across the UK. We want to create a world where musicians thrive.  

A musician’s life can be precarious with ups and downs throughout a career. Opportunities must be hard-won, whilst challenges come along all too easily, with unsteady income and physical and mental health concerns common issues to navigate. In addition, training can take many years and, along with investing in instruments and other equipment, puts up financial barriers to creative progression. Help Musicians offers a broad range of help to support music creators in times of crisis and opportunity – ensuring musicians across the UK can achieve their creative potential and sustain a career in music.  

Sadly, the impact of the pandemic means the charity is needed more than ever. Since March 2020, they have been able to provide financial hardship support to over 19,000 music creators and increase access to our mental health services by 40%. In 2022, this ongoing need will continue at scale while the music sector recovers and rebuilds.  

Love Music: Help Musicians 

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