We are looking for partners who share our vision of using the arts and nature to tackle discrimination, isolation and exclusion. 

Celebrating International Day for Older Persons

Following the fantastic success of last years Spring into Sound intergenerational project, this year we set ourselves the task of setting up another group.   Armed with new partners and the dream of achieving a second sustainable group, it has been another year of wondrous time in the woods, comfortable community, shared activities and smooth relationships with our collaborators.  We have really enjoyed working with Lucy's Little Forest School and Together Co, based up in Wilderness Woods.  Yet again our beneficiaries have benefited to the extent they have wanted the work to continue and discussions are underway as to how to achieve this.  We are more than delighted with the results and eager to evaluate our success so that we can continue to be the spark that ignites community.  As usual we have created a film to celebrate and highlight the stories that have emerged and we are in discussions as to where to screen them.  Keep your eyes peeled!

  Get in touch to find out more or to work with us.  unitethebeat@gmail.com 07881977377

We are over the moon that our Awards For All grant will allow us to carry out a year-long project which seeks to promote community amongst those over 50 in the Brighton and Hove area.  The grant is a real stamp of approval and we feel honored that our work has received this recognition. 


Musical Memories: A social gathering for those who want to share their love of music. 


Meet monthly and listen to songs that you have loved whilst recounting the rich memories they represent: maybe something from your childhood, or a track you love at the moment. 


Where: Hop 50+, Palmeira Square, Hove BN3 2FL

When: Third Monday of every month, 1.30-3.00 

To be involved: come to our taster sessions on 19th November

OR email unitethebeat@gmail.com or call 0788197737

Suggested donation: £2.

The venue is fully accessible.  Carers & befrienders are welcome.


Woodland adventures with the National Trust

''The boys really engaged well and loved the music and the way it was presented.''

''A reminder how important it is to get out and take our bodies into our wonderful world and experience it through our own senses.''

''The kids loved the hammocks and your understanding of the children's needs were carefully catered for.''

One of our key projects in 2018 was working with the support of Sheffield Park and Garden to deliver a series of immersion in nature workshops.  The pilot series was generously funded by a private donor and enabled us to run 5 sessions in the Autumn in which we promoted playfulness, curiosity and connection.  The work engaged young people with SEN and behavioural challenges as well as offering a unique sound foraging experience for Brighton University Digital Music Bachelors course.  The work has been such a success that Sheffield Park has decided to fund us again and we are delighted to be planning this into our year.  

Enjoy the video to get a sense of the work.  All sounds used were foraged for and created by the children from Fletching Church of England Primary School.

If you think your school/institution/organisation/company could benefit from some time out in nature then get in touch. 

Spring into Sound: Intergenerational Immersion in Nature

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped us in our crowdfunding campaign, to Upstream Ideas (who had faith in our vision and funded us £2000 to get started) and everyone else who has shared, shouted and supported us.  We simply could not be doing this without your help and we are hugely grateful for your belief in our work and what we are aiming to achieve.  The pilot project is well underway and we are learning so much as well as witnessing great transformation for some of our isolated older people.  Our first session saw us pond dipping, playing natural sounds in the 'wild studio' and learning to light fires.  We met again at a new site in Portslade in June and the group was split into teams who had to hunt for certain tree species before exploring the sounds that could be made in the natural environment.  We learnt about tree folklore and tasted homemade elderflower cordial before settling down to make woodland fairies.  The group has really started to form and there is even talk of some emerging befriending relationships (group members want to commit to seeing each other long-term outside of our work, we could not have hoped for more).  As the project evolves we at Unite The Beat continue to bring sound related games and activities to the mix as well as documenting the sounds and rhythms created. 

We are absolutely delighted to share our latest film with you ''Spring into Sound, Where Friendships are Sprung''.  The video follows the pilot project undertaken in partnership between Time to Talk Befriending and Bee in The Woods Forest School.  The pilot sought to reduce feelings of isolation amongst older people through intergenerational contact in nature and our findings far outstretched our primary goal. We invite you to enjoy the video to find out more. The film showcases our unique fusion of sound foraging and documentary filming to facilitate relationships and create meaningful films that capture memory.  We are so inspired by all that was achieved that we are putting together a programme to trial in care homes and day care centres in the region.  If you are interested in participating or are moved to support our work (either with expertise, time, exposure or funds) please do get in touch unitethebeat@gmail.com 07881977377.

The benefits of intergenerational projects have been well documented, with the first formalised intergenerational care project opening in 1976, Tokyo (cited by the Guardian in their article ''It’s like being reborn': inside the care home opening its doors to toddlers'' 06.09.17).   Whilst informal arrangements in which young children and older people benefit from each others wisdom and company are widespread in many cultures.  In South Africa, where Unite The Beat Co-Founder Malik Tokwe is from, it is very common for 'gogo (granny)' to be the primary caregiver whilst parents go out in search of work.  


The idea to combine these groups and immerse them in the Unite The Beat experience has always been our intention and we are excited to have met such dedicated partners immersed in their respective communities; Time To Talk Befriending & Bee In The Woods Forest School


Comments from our older people 'great oaks'

'I feel like I have really achieved something today, it's a good feeling'

'Oh I loved it.  I miss being outdoors so much' 

Other news: projects and collaborations

Earlier this year we adventured over to the other side of the county to run workshop's for Looked After Children and their foster families.  We ran two workshops from the wonderful Hub and have really enjoyed creating the music videos for all participants.  The project was a great success with carers unilateraly agreeing that the sessions had much to offer both themselves, the children and them as a family.  Comments ranged from stating that the sessions were 'therapeutic' ...  and 'Made them relax when many have high alert and are stressed or anxious most of the time' to recognising the benfits of having a film to keep, memories to remember.  Each Looked After Child got their personalised film delivered on these funky little memory sticks.  The workshops were carried out with East Sussex Foster Care Association with generous funding from Chalk Cliff Trust.

Living Memories: building relationships in foster families 

We have recently increased our services to include mini-documentaries and promotional videos upon being approached by our Spring into Sound partners Time To Talk Befriending.  The brief was to tell the story of befriending, capturing the individual personalities involved and highlighting the benefits for all parties.  We are really happy with the results and hope that the work encourages new volunteers and donors to support TTTB with their invaluable work to tackle social isolation through intergenerational relationships. 

Promotional Videos and Mini-Docs

Beach Cleans & Rubbish Jam!

We were invited by Pier 2 Pier Beach Clean to come and run some sound activities at a recent beach clean.  We enjoyed the event so much that we decided to make a short video highlighting the various creative endeavours that took place as Brighton's hardiest showed up to clean their beaches. We have since cleaned beaches up and down the coast with Grab volunteers and are busy planning a collaboration.  Watch this space or get in touch for more info. 

Music, Nature and Play

We all know that getting out into nature is good for you, indeed you will be overwhelmed by a wealth of scientific studies if you google it.  These range from bold assertions by The Nature Conservancy that 'Human well-being depends on the benefits that nature provides for free, everyday and everywhere,' to findings by environmental psychologist Judith Heerwagon that 'Spending time in nature has been shown to lower stress levels' (Huff post).  The same is true for engaging in the arts, with Musicians cited as having 'Superior working memory compared to non-musicians' (Berti, et al., 2006; Pallesen et al. cited by the NAMM foundation) and another range of papers discussing stress reduction among other benefits.  Then we come to play, where most understand the need for children to play, but what about adults?  At Unite the Beat we think it is possible and even important to combine these disciplines and to do so in a way that tackles discrimination, isolation and exclusion.  We fear that both children and adults are forgetting how to play, how to spend time in nature and losing interest in the benefits of the arts.  As Ralph Waldo Emersion stated 'It is a happy talent to know how to play' (Voice of Play) and we want to help remind people.  We have a range of tools we can use in combination or as separate processes.  See the next two slides for details: Immersion in Nature and Experimenting with Melody. 


If you are a charity, social enterprise, community group of individuals passionate about using the arts and nature for personal and societal transformation, get in touch to discuss commissioning some workshops or collaborating on a project.  

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