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National Lottery Recognize Pandemic Work of Swan Song Project
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National Lottery Recognize Pandemic Work of Swan Song Project

It’s incredible just how important a part music can play in someone’s life, even at incredibly low points. The Swan Song Project in Leeds, England, helps those with little time left of their life to write and record their own original song. Ben Buddy Slack began the charity that has received National Lottery funding.

He is one of 13 local community workers across the UK who have been recognised for their time and efforts in supporting some of the most vulnerable in communities during the pandemic, thanks to National Lottery funding.

Special Bench Designed

A handcrafted bench has been designed by Jay Blades from TV show ‘The Repair Shop’ to honour his work. The bench is in Meanwood Park, close to where Ben lives. It has motifs of musical notes and white swans with the quote “The Lyrics of Life”.  People can use an in-built QR code  that allows them to hear an audio recording of the story of the Swan Song Project which began four years ago.

The pandemic has made life difficult, but it didn’t stop Ben. He continued his service virtually and even began a free online singing group. A podcast that discusses coping with bereavement has also been launched, all thanks to lottery funding. The National Lottery Community Fund has given grants to over 13,000 UK community projects since the pandemic began.

Vital Funding

"The National Lottery have funded us from the start - they’ve been amazing - we definitely wouldn’t have grown in the same way if it wasn’t for Lottery support,” said Ben. “I walk my dog in that park regularly and seeing the bench feels quite surreal,” he added.

It was the loss of his grandmother that inspired Mr Slack, who is a songwriter to start the project.“I thought how nice it would have been to have a recording of her singing or even better a song she had written herself.”

The Swan Song Project has seen songs written and recorded by over 80 people. The song that is produced produces a unique musical legacy, one their family can cherish for years to come, all thanks to National Lottery funding.

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