Eilidh’s Trust helps youth music groups bounce back from pandemic


Youth music groups across Scotland have been awarded funding to support their safe return to teaching by the charity set up in memory of Manchester Arena victim, Eilidh MacLeod.

Eight groups have been awarded financial support in recent weeks, specifically to help them return safely to in-person tuition, group lessons, public performances and competitive events. Some awards have been as much as £1,500.
Eilidh’s Trust was established in 2018 in memory of the talented 14-year-old musician from the small Hebridean island of Barra who died in the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017. The Trust supports music education for young people reflecting Eilidh’s own love of music and her musical ability and enjoyment as a piper with the local Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band. The Trust will also manage and maintain a permanent memorial to Eilidh and a garden of remembrance and reflection on Barra.  
Eilidh’s Trust founder, Suzanne White said: “We are delighted to be making this funding available and helping the young musicians and performers to continue to grow in their musical skills. We know that it will support them in doing something they love and thrive in. At Eilidh’s Trust we understand the challenge these groups have faced and we want to ensure support is there for when they can safely deliver in-person sessions.

“The past 21 months have proved to be tough for many youth music groups across Scotland with the pandemic continuing to have an impact. Not only has their ability to meet in groups been curtailed but their traditional ways of fundraising were also put on hold, things they are still grappling with today.

Eilidh MacLeod.

“This made restarting teaching difficult for so many groups across the country. While many continued to teach online, nothing can replace the additional benefits that come with safe in-person tuition where the young musicians and performers are able to develop their social and citizenship skills as well as grow in confidence.”

The youth groups supported are:

• Bare Productions CIC (Edinburgh)
• Sgoil Bhagh a’ Chaisteal (Barra)
• The Lewis and Harris Piping Society (Lewis and Harris)
• Mallaig, Ardnamurchan and District Pipe Band (Lochaber)
• The No Marcs music group (Stirlingshire)
• The Orkney Traditional Music Project (Orkney)
• Papay Community Association (Orkney)
• Reeltime Music (North Lanarkshire)

Lynda Sharp of Papay Community Association said: “Traditional music and dance are a key part of Papay’s culture, and enabling our young folk to participate in these is an important part of our island development plan. So, we are very grateful to Eilidh’s Trust for providing a grant to cover the cost of the tutors’ return flights to Papay from Kirkwall, which helps us to keep the tuition fees at an affordable level.”

Sgoil Bhagh a Chaisteal Pipers, one of the youth groups to benefit from the awards made by Eilidh’s Trust.

Dr. John Smith, chairman of the Lewis and Harris Piping Society said: “We were delighted to receive this financial support from Eilidh’s Trust which helped make up for some of the fundraising we were unable to undertake due to the pandemic. This funding meant we were able to ask Pipe Major Roddy MacLeod MBE to deliver a workshop for our young pipers.”