Key Changes

Cultural Impact Development Fund

Key Changes is an arts and health charity that promotes positive mental health through music. The organisation will use its investment to scale its existing music engagement and recovery programme in secure mental health units and the wider community.

© Kristina Petrošiūtė

Key Changes

Region: London
Discipline: Music
Investment Size: £100,000 (£66,666 loan, £33,334 grant)

The Organisation:

Key Changes: Positive Mental Health Through Music Ltd (‘Key Changes’) is a charity that promotes positive mental health using creative collaboration and culturally relevant music activities. Established by a group of patients at Highgate Mental Health Centre in North London to provide music activities on the wards, Key Changes now partners with NHS in-patient and secondary mental health services and government and voluntary sector health and social care agencies in London and locations around the UK.

Key Changes delivers music engagement and recovery services in hospitals and the community and draws on clinical therapeutic techniques and music industry practices to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people and communities. Significant to Key Changes service delivery is its dedication to providing progression pathways-particularly for individuals engaged with in-hospital recovery services.

The Opportunity:

Since its inception, Key Changes has evolved to become one of the most established providers of music in mental health settings in England having established close partnerships with hospitals and social care settings. Reports of increased mental health crisis, most recently as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, catalysed a country wide need for arts and health provision. With its wealth of experience and a unique programme design approach, informed by lived experiences, it was clear Key Changes was best positioned to meet growing mental health needs. Additionally, in 2020 and 2021 Key Changes received grant funding to pilot its hospital-based programming in Brighton, Manchester and Birmingham. The success and evidence gleaned from these pilots encouraged leadership to scale these locations further.

Key Changes approached the Cultural Impact Development Fund (‘CIDF’) with a request for £100,000 investment to scale existing activities and programmes. This investment was financed through a blended package of grant and loan and will be used to develop a robust commissioning and social care pipeline, leverage impact data for further funding, and develop music industry and community support and awareness. Through investment in business development and music partnership staff, freelance artists, programme materials and equipment and budget for impact assessment and robust marketing, Key Changes will have the resources necessary to respond to the growing mental health challenges facing young people and adults across England.

The Process:

When Key Changes and CIDF began working on the due diligence for this investment the CIDF team had a high-level understanding of government contracting with local authorities, CCGs and HMPS but had limited experience working with NHS Trusts and social care budgets. Working collaboratively, Key Changes and CIDF unpacked the potential risks to expansion, particularly outside of greater London where brand recognition may be lower. CIDF focused its due diligence around peer competition, brand awareness and staff recruitment & capacity. Key Changes provided positive evidence to mitigate risks in these areas including conducting a peer analysis to understand its unique value add to the market. The CIDF team also stress-tested Key Changes’ financial assumptions and found the blended grant and loan investment was affordable even in a very conservative scenario. Alongside the due diligence process, Key Changes received support from CIDF to identify areas for development regarding the organisation’s approach to monitoring and evaluating its social impact.

The Impact:

Key Changes directly works with people impacted by conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, bi polar disorder and psychosis. Supporting the development of creative, technical and vocational skills, the organisation opens pathways to mainstream opportunities in education, training, work experience and employment for young people and adults affected by mental health conditions. With the CIDF investment, the organisation will be able to scale its music engagement and recovery services to more hospital patients and communities experiencing mental health. Through investment in staff capacity, marketing and impact assessment, Key Changes will be in a strong position to develop relationships with key stakeholders in Greater London and beyond and improve its ability to achieve and articulate social impact. Alongside the investment, Key Changes will receive one-to-one support from CIDF to strengthen its approach to monitoring and evaluating its social impact.