As a business, we are passionate about ensuring we leave the planet in a better condition for our children and grandchildren. Fairness, tolerance and equality of opportunity are values that are at the heart of everything we do, and we care passionately about the communities in which we all live.
We channel the talents and passions of each members of the SW1 family – both employees and members - to bring about positive, meaningful and long-lasting change in the areas that need it most.
MUSIC EDUCATION MATTERS
Our co-founder, Ed Barker, is also one of the UK’s most renowned saxophonists, and used to play for international pop legend, George Michael.
So during lockdown, he organised a letter that was signed by over 2,000 musicians, urging the Chancellor to extend the PAYE furlough scheme to self-employed workers. The campaign achieved widespread publicity and “musicians and sound engineers” were the first workers mentioned by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, when he announced the terms of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme in March at the No.10 press conference.
Since then, our campaign to protect the music industry – in particular the livelihoods of West End and orchestral musicians – has attracted the support of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ed has appeared on ex-GMTV presenter Esther McVey’s Blue Collar Conversations podcast with Chris Wright, the founder of Chrysalis Records, and he has been working to help Britain’s top orchestras.
SW1 is also partnering with schools across the Midlands, working to ensure that all children - wherever they come from and whatever their background - have the opportunity to pick up a musical instrument at school.
Whilst Ed worked extremely hard, he was given opportunities to succeed as an instrumentalist that not everyone is lucky enough to have. He said:
“It doesn’t matter how much talent you have, if you don’t have the opportunities – an instrument, great teachers, inspiring role models and a supportive network of family and friends, your talents can’t take you very far. That’s why we’re campaigning hard to ensure everyone, wherever they come from, has the chance to learn a musical instrument when they’re at school.”
Music heals, brings people together, provides joy, teaches people how to work hard as an individual and as part of a team, hones a child’s listening skills and has far-reaching benefits for society so we’re really proud of the work we’re doing to ensure that everyone has access to music education.