YOUNG people are using music to face challenges many of us are lucky never to experience.

Bolton Impact Trust, which provides an outstanding special education for some of the borough's most vulnerable children, is ensuring its children do not miss out on a music education— describing it as a vital "tool" for its pupils wellbeing.

The trust has received funding to enhance its "BIT Music Project" is now supported by Youth Music thanks to Arts Council England.

Youth Music works with children who do not get to make music because of who they are, where they live or what they are going through.

Bolton Impact Trust governs six separate alternative and special academies working with youngsters who require support with some facing personal crises.

Rachel Bingley, music lead for the trust, said she believes music is a "powerful tool for self-expression and improving mood" with the extra funding meaning more pupils can take part in music making opportunities which could help break down 'complex barriers and improve wellbeing'.

Rachel said: "This is a really exciting opportunity. The additional funding enables us to purchase musical resources whilst organising collaborative projects with Bolton Music Service, professional musicians, music venues and other local music groups. The funding will also provide enrichment opportunities for the students who will be going to watch live music.

She is currently putting together a calendar of events including music workshops with renowned Manchester rapper HMD for Youth Challenge Secondary and Lever Park students.

Rachel said: “It’s really exciting to connect with local professional musicians, recording studios, music venues and Bolton Music Service. All with the intention of working closely with the children and young people within the Trust to ensure that their needs, interests and personal growth remain at the heart of the project.”

One student at Youth Challenge Secondary, said: "I have weekly music lessons with Rachel and find the sessions really enjoyable. Singing helps me let loose for a bit and escape from reality."

Paul Hodgkinson, executive principal of the trust, said: "I’m so delighted that the BIT Music Project is now supported by Youth Music. With this additional funding, the students within will be exposed to high quality musical experiences either through more professional resources/instruments, external projects led by credible musicians or trips out to watch live music."

Rachel is on the lookout for instruments no longer used, musical resources, iPads or other technologies, which could be added to the ‘music base’ of each individual academy.

If you have any instruments or equipment that you would like to donate, contact Bolton Impact Trust on And local musical organisations or are a professional musician and are interested in collaborating with BIT Music, please contact Rachel directly on To learn more about the BIT Music project, please follow Rachel on twitter @rachel_bingley.