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New music therapy projects support vulnerable Sheffielders

Social enterprise Ritetrax has invested in a cutting-edge music therapy instrument as part of a new community project to help locals during the pandemic. 


Multipurpose creative space Plot22, located at Castlegate and managed by Ritetrax.

Roger Poultney

Ritetrax is set to launch two new community projects to help vulnerable people in Sheffield after receiving funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Two music club sessions per week will be provided for people dealing with addiction, homelessness and mental health issues who have been referred to the group.

Participants will be given the opportunity to use a range of instruments, receive guidance or simply listen to music and chat with others.

Mike Thompson, RiteTrax founder and manager of the organisation's multi-purpose creative space Plot 22, told Now Then that the sessions for adults were important at a time when some had not been in touch with support services for six months.

“People are definitely struggling in terms of dealing with their addiction. They’ve slipped back into drug use and have had bad periods of mental health, so having something like this, where they can come every week, will be quite a big thing for them.”

As well as the music club sessions, sound therapy sessions will also be available to anyone in need of relaxation.

The sound therapy will use different frequencies and vibrations to provide an experience believed to decrease anxiety, tension and muscle spasticity, and dramatically increase relaxation and a sense of wellbeing.


Pyradym, a 'sound healing' instrument.

Ritetrax are acquiring an unusual instrument called the Pyradym, created by American electrical engineer August Worley, which will provide a combination of sound and colour therapy.

“Having looked at [the instrument], and knowing the credentials of the man who made it, I think it’ll be really exciting and will be good to use not only in these sessions, but also we could take it about to people who can’t make it to a session,” Thompson said.

“We will have one of the only two Pyradyms in the UK now [...] Anyone can enquire about it and we will release the details in the next month or so.”

Funding for the sessions has come in the form of a £25,000 grant provided by the National Lottery Community Fund after RiteTrax suffered a significant loss of income following the planned relaunch of Plot 22 and the cancellation of all planned events and community projects due to Covid-19.

Learn more

To get involved with music therapy sessions, keep an eye on the Ritetrax Facebook page for further information or contact Mike on [email protected].

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