Case Studies

Case Study: Kent and Medway Young Musicians Trust

The Kent and Medway Young Musicians Trust is a small locally-based charity, whose aim is to advance the education of young people in music.

They are passionate about helping the next generation of musicians to progress on their musical journey. The charity awards grants to promising young musicians of limited means. The financial awards may be used towards tuition fees, instruments, courses and music. They also promote the cause of youth musical activity across the county.

The charity is volunteer-led and run. Their patron is The Lady Colgrain, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent.

Nigel Barham, Vice Chair of the charity who leads operations, explains why they decided to approach Charity Mentors Kent and Medway in October 2022:

“We wished to re-launch and expand our activities to reach more young musicians in Kent and Medway. We considered that mentoring from a professional would help bring fresh perspectives, and ensure that our strategy and our associated actions are appropriately matched to our aims.”

Nigel explained that there was a need for a clear, workable plan to grow the charity over the next few years, in order to reach more young musicians across the whole of the county. They also wanted to ensure they had the right tools and experience within the charity to achieve this.

After contacting Charity Mentors Kent & Medway, they were matched with Nick Baveystock, an experienced mentor with a background as a leader in a wide variety of different organisations, including in the voluntary sector. Nigel comments:

“This was very important, as the sharing of his own knowledge and experience of charitable work was a key part of the assistance we were given.”

After four meetings together, Nigel explained that he had been able to step back and reflect, and refocus on the priorities and plan to move forward. The key tangible outcomes which were achieved by the end of the mentoring project included:

  • A single page, easy to understand 3-year business plan based on desired outcomes, linked to key fundraising and grant disbursement activities with supportive marketing and financial philosophies.
  • Specific roles allocated to specific Trustees matching their experience and expertise
  • A launch Gala Concert arranged for 17 March 2023 in the Great Hall, Allington Castle

Nigel commented that if they hadn’t had the support of Nick:

“…. progress would still have been made in developing and growing the charity. However, it would have been much slower – we would not have been working as effectively and with the same level of confidence.

Because we are in a relatively strong financial position, the mentoring sessions helped us to see that we should be braver and accelerate our grant giving programme straight away by using more of our capital, this running in parallel with fund raising initiatives to replace the expenditure.”

The mentor, Nick, takes up the story:

“This was a charity that had just become a bit stuck.  All of the bits were in place, but they hadn’t joined the dots.  I encouraged them to produce a plan on a page so they were all clear what they were trying to achieve and what good will look like in the next 1, 2 and 3 years.

They hadn’t really gripped marketing and communications, and were giving grants without any return from the grantees in terms of testimonials which they have now addressed.

This didn’t need much work.  All the trustees knew what they needed to do, they just needed a bit of help to do it.  It was the classic case of helping them to see the wood for the trees!”

When asked to quantify their experience of mentoring on a scale of 1 to 5, Nigel rated it as a maximum 5 out of 5 across the board. He commented:

“Central to the success of the service was the quality of the actual one to one mentoring delivered, which in our case was very high.”

In summary:

“Charity Mentors helped give us the tools and, just as important, the confidence to re-launch and grow our charity. They also helped us to consolidate our thinking into a simple, single page strategic plan linked to our desired outcomes.”

Gala Concert 17 March 2023