This document has been produced by Metronomes Steel Orchestra as part of the process of developing our three-year strategy and business plan (autumn 2019 to autumn 2022). Our overall goal is to increase our community and arts projects to benefit all our participants, and further an appreciation of steelpan music. We plan to increase our annual turnover from around £10,000 to around £40,000 and develop income streams that will secure Metronomes long-term future.
Metronomes teaches and performs steelpan music, promotes carnival arts and Caribbean heritage. It runs weekly classes at its panyard based at Meanwhile Gardens, teaches in schools and gives regular public performances. The highlight of the year is Notting Hill Carnival when it takes part in Panorama, the annual steelband competition, and has a float in the Carnival procession.
Metronomes plays an important role in the local Caribbean community. It brings families together, helping to reduce social isolation especially amongst the elderly and single parents. It is especially good at involving young people – and especially young men – not involved in education and at risk of joining gangs and taking part in crime and anti-social behaviour.
More than 75% of young people who attend Metronomes go on to university: it has helped produce a generation of architects, athletes and doctors. However, it is resolutely focused on involving all young people, including those struggling in life. Metronomes leaves no one behind.
Members of Metronomes knew people who died in the fire and know people who survived. We have been involved in a large number of community initiatives, including workshops and performances at The Curve Community Centre.
Our long-term response is to increase our community projects to promote healing and optimism for the future.
One thing that has emerged following the Grenfell fire is an awareness of the lack of local people being involved in designing and delivering services and generally participating in democracy. Metronomes works with some of the most marginalised people, and believes it has a role in bringing them in to actively participate. Many of our ideas for new community and arts projects centre around this.
Community & arts projects
All our projects are centred around steelpan, carnival arts and wider Caribbean culture. They all have an art element, though some have a more social focus. Groups we are especially interest in developing work for are: boys and young men, mature men, 50+, and single parents for whom Metronomes provides a social life and support network.
This project is engaging some of the most disenfranchised young people within Metronomes. We are working intensively with 8 young men who have experience of the criminal justice system and struggle to engage with learning and employment.
By September 2019 we plan to add a podcast to our website of the participants talking about their life experiences, and how involvement in Metronomes is helping them.
This project is pretty much a model for the sort of work we want to increase – targeted on specific groups with a clearly defined purpose and a measurable impact.
Inclusive pan is funded by Westway Trust.
Jazz & steel
Jazz played on the steelpan is frequently referred to as jazz and steel. It’s been a goal of Metronomes for some years to run a jazz project, and we hope to make it happen in the coming year.
Our intention is to run a major arts project every two years that win have a national impact. These will likely be run in partnership with other steelbands.
Metronomes is exploring online technologies to see how we can work with other musicians and artists. We would like steelpan to inform everything from visual art to sound art to creative coding.
Metronomes panyard is based at Meanwhile Gardens in Ladbroke Grove. It is a community garden, that includes projects run by the mental health charity Mind, and a play hut for young children.
Meanwhile Gardens Community Association wants to secure a lease from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and fundraise to create a new community building. Metronomes is playing an active role and sees increasing our project work and establishing long-term financial sustainability as making a major contribution.
Funders and sponsors who support Metronomes will also be supporting Meanwhile Gardens.
Steady, sustainable growth
We believe growing our project work while increasing our annual turnover up to £40,000 is a realistic, attainable goal.
Key issues are:
- Identifying how best to deal with the bread and butter issues ie. paying the rent, maintaining high-quality teaching and performance work.
- Seeking new funding opportunities that fit with our community and artistic goals.
- Developing good financial management through our ongoing association with the local community accountancy project, CASH.
- Training for trustees, volunteers and paid tutors to help them adapt as their roles evolve.
- Looking actively at risks, such as the loss of key people.
Action plan / Next steps
The business plan for a charity with a turnover of up to £40,000 isn’t going to be a lengthy document, however Metronomes will cover the required topics: an executive summary, an introduction with background information, a market analysis, an operational plan, key people, impact and how it will be measured, the finances and risk.
- Finalise business plan in October 2019.
- Develop project ideas through discussion within Metronomes: the trustees, players, parents, other stakeholders.
- Produce fundraising strategy, including identifying potential funders across one year and three years.
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