About Electric Umbrella

Electric Umbrella challenges the perception of learning disabled people and enriches and empowers lives through music. Everything we do is led by learning disabled people working alongside professional musicians. Through our projects we provide the social and learning opportunities in the community which help to build confidence, increase feelings of self-worth, improve wellbeing, and promote independence.

About Electric Umbrella

Your donations at work

The need

People with learning disabilities experience higher rates of severe mental health problems, dementia, anxiety and depression than the general population. Mencap have identified that learning disabled people spend less than 1-hour/day outside their home. 93% of those interviewed by the Foundation for People with Learning disabilities in 2012 said they felt lonely and isolated. The pandemic has exacerbated these issues. Many have additional long-term health conditions and are extremely vulnerable. They have become lonely, inactive and bored at home, and social and communication skills have deteriorated. Most day services are still operating a reduced service, and no external organisations can visit to provide additional activities (eg sport or music). Learning disabled people are not fully benefiting from the increased freedoms experienced by the rest of the population and are in danger of being further excluded. Our huge programme of online activities has been a lifeline for so many– keeping them engaged, connected and having fun.  

The solution

Meeting Needs provided £4,500 to purchase equipment to support the creation of the Electric Umbrella Emporium, a permanent space for their community to gather, learn new skills and create music. The Emporium also helps Electric Umbrella maintain a stable income so they can expand their outreach. 

“The Emporium is a showcase for everything we do. It is an eclectic mix of musical instruments for sale, reimagined instruments to interact with and a workshop to fix, re-imagine and service donated musical instruments. All of this creates an immersive experience for our members to develop and learn new skills.

It also encompasses a brand new studio/live room where members can get involved with all aspects of live performance and create new and exciting music projects together. 

Importantly, our members will be at the heart of it all. Learning how to fix and repair instruments, honing their performance skills and interacting face to face with customers in the shop, all while having a lot of fun.

For more about the Electric Umbrella Emporium, see here.