Crowdfunding appeal for Lullaby Hour at the Freeman Hospital’s Children’s Heart Unit

Sharon Durant of The Lullaby Hour singing to baby Benjamin.
Sharon Durant of The Lullaby Hour singing to baby Benjamin.

This week a Crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help an exciting pilot music project to continue into next year. The Lullaby Hour aims to entertain young people and parents throughout 2018 on the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

The Lullaby Hour is being delivered by national charity, Music in Hospitals & Care. They have been running the relaxing singing sessions at the Children’s Heart Unit since September this year, and the Lullaby Hour has proved a big hit! The enjoyment and impact the project has made with the young people and parents has inspired Music in Hospitals & Care to set up a Crowdfund campaign to raise essential funds as part of the Crowdfund Newcastle Culture programme.

The Children’s Heart Unit is one of the country’s leading units providing specialist care for children with heart and lung related conditions, including transplantation. Children and babies come from all over the North of England for treatment, many of whom are in pain, very poorly, and can experience a lot of negative emotions. Many of the young people struggle at first to adjust and sleep in the hospital environment, which is when The Lullaby Hour springs into life. 

The early evening gentle music can help the children to settle to sleep and creates a ‘bedtime’ atmosphere on the ward.

The Lullaby Hour needs to raise a total of £6,720 by 26 January for the Crowdfund campaign to become a success. They need a pledge total of £3,360 to trigger the match funding from Crowdfund Newcastle Culture. Here’s the Crowdfund web-link:

Crowdfund Newcastle Culture has been made available through the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund, a grants programme run in partnership with Newcastle City Council and the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Alison Forbes, Development Officer North, Music in Hospitals & Care, said: “The music can help mums and dads in a very difficult time providing them with cherished memories of their child laughing, singing and settling to sleep. The Lullaby Hour sessions bring comfort to the children and their parents, as well as helping to create a sense of normality for them. One little girl’s heart rate actually lowered during the lullaby singing.

“We really want pledgers to get behind this wonderful project that brings so much joy and happiness to so many people.”

Music in Hospitals & Care provides over 5,000 concerts a year across the UK in care homes, hospitals, hospices, mental health wards, outreach community centres and SEN (Special Education Needs) schools. They also run specific projects to address gaps in provision, including geographical or thematic.

Joanne Moore, Activities Coordinator on the Children’s Heart Unit, said: “We want Lullaby Hour to continue on the unit. It brings so much comfort and joy to the children and their parents.”

The Lullaby Hour campaign is also being supported by actress and performer, Kellie Bright of EastEnders (playing ‘Linda Carter’), The Archers (playing ‘Kate Madikane’) and Strictly Come Dancing…fame.

Cllr Kim McGuinness, cabinet member for culture and communities at Newcastle City Council, said: “It is activities like The Lullaby Hour that shows the level of diverse arts and cultural projects that are now being supported by Crowdfund Newcastle Culture.

“The idea of the fund is to try and make valuable, impactful projects like this a reality. These activities make a real difference to the local community. Crowdfund campaigns are a great and increasingly popular way for groups and organisations to raise money for their projects. Crowdfund Newcastle Culture is a great, bespoke crowdfunding opportunity for groups hoping to make a real difference through arts and culture.”  

Ellie Turner, principal advisor for culture at the Community Foundation, said: "Crowdfund Newcastle Culture is a totally unique scheme aimed at attracting submissions from projects across the City.  Newcastle is proud to have such a dedicated and loyal array of arts, culture and heritage groups and practitioners - all producing high quality programmes that can entertain, educate and inform people.   

“The Lullaby Hour uses this tailored creative approach as it marries together arts, music and health, and benefits a great deal of people in the region. We hope to attract submissions from other Newcastle groups and organisations.”

For local Newcastle-based individuals, groups, projects or organisations who feel they might be eligible for Crowdfund Newcastle Culture, please visit

Please note – groups and projects will only receive their match funding if their Crowdfunding project successfully reaches its target.

How does Crowdfund Newcastle Culture work?

  • The Community Foundation has committed £50k towards Crowdfund Newcastle Culture, a match funding opportunity for crowdfunding appeals through Crowdfunder UK. It is limiting each organisation to a maximum pledge of £5,000 which could make up 50% of the overall target of an organisations appeal.
  • There are three easy steps: establish a financial target of up to £10,000 on the Crowdfunder UK platform; once the project has raised 25% from at least five unique backers you will trigger a 50% pledge against the total target through the Crowdfund Newcastle Culture scheme. To be eligible the project must then go on to raise the full target to secure the income.
  • Crowdfund Newcastle Culture is a partnership project between Newcastle City Council, the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland; and Crowdfunder.