The Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust has launched a new funding scheme to support youth music groups across Scotland as the nation prepares to open up following Covid-19.
This scheme was launched just ahead of the fourth anniversary yesterday (May 22) of the Manchester Arena terror attack which took the life of Eilidh, from Barra, along with 21 other innocent people following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.
Under the new scheme, financial support in the form of small grants will help music groups prepare for the eventual move back to in-person teaching, group lessons, public performances and competitive events.
Music groups and organisations are being encouraged to submit funding requests to be considered by the trust by June 30.
Eilidh’s Trust was established in 2018 and supports music education for young people reflecting Eilidh’s own love of music and her musical ability and enjoyment as a piper with the 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.
Suzanne White, founder of Eilidh’s Trust announced the support saying: “Part of Eilidh’s ethos in life was to be a constant friend and to be there when others needed her. She was a caring and compassionate person who wanted nothing more than to make others feel loved and supported. As we mark four years since we lost our precious Eilidh we want her spirit to live on through her love of music by offering a hand of friendship and support to young musicians.
“We know that many music groups have had a tough time during lockdown and last year we supported several groups to ensure they could continue virtual teaching. As we are now starting to move out of lockdown and towards a greater degree of normality including face to face lessons and public performances, Eilidh’s Trust is keen to ensure youth music groups are supported through this transition.”
Suzanne added: “We are keen to hear from groups of any musical genre from across Scotland that feel small grant support would help their students grow and flourish over the coming months.”
Youth music groups that are keen to be considered for small grant funding should contact Eilidh’s Trust outlining the following details:
- The group’s background and history
- The nature of the group’s need and how Eilidh’s Trust funding would benefit their young musicians
- The group’s compliance with all regulations for safeguarding and protection of children
Deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.
And in a public statement on the Trust’s Facebook Page yesterday the Trust stated: “Today, we pause to reflect on the huge gap that has been left in our lives since Eilidh was so cruelly taken from us along with 21 others four years ago.
The fun, energy and compassion that was ever-present with Eilidh is missing in our lives and we are the poorer for it. This is especially true over this last year when we would’ve benefitted so much from a healthy dose of Eilidh’s laugh, kindness and humour.
But while we are hurting for the loss of Eilidh, nothing will ever take away our memories of her and the times so many of us got to spend in her company. It is those beautiful, bright and joyful memories that sustain us during some of the saddest times. Memories of Eilidh’s infectious laugh and wit, her kind and gentle outlook on life and her friendly demeanour will always help ease the sadness of her passing. These memories are precious for us all.
Today, we keep Eilidh’s parents, sisters, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and her wider family and friends front and centre in our thoughts. We hope that they - and all those affected by the attack - take some comfort knowing that so many are thinking of them.
Suzanne White added: “Nothing will ever extinguish the compassion and warm glow that radiated from Eilidh and that now lives on in everyone who knew her. Eilidh’s zest for life and friendship is something we can all learn from to enrich our own lives and help improve the world around us.
“It is a testament to the positive effect Eilidh had on so many that, even during a tough year of lockdown and restrictions, people have continued to fundraise and support our work with young musicians. We are incredibly grateful that despite everything, many have been as determined as we are to make sure Eilidh’s legacy lives on in music.”