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Yodel brings music to 10,000 children’s lives as part of the UK’s biggest instrument amnest

James Rhodes and Yodel present £1 million worth of donated musical instruments to school children following successful Channel 4 Don't Stop the Music amnesty.

Following the success of James Rhodes and Channel 4's Don't Stop the Music Instrument Amnesty, over 6,500 donated musical instruments have been delivered by parcel carrier Yodel to 170 primary schools across the country. Collectively worth £1million, the instruments are already allowing over 10,000 children to experience the joy of making music.

Last autumn the British public were encouraged to donate their unwanted musical instruments to local Oxfam stores, as part of the UK's biggest ever 'instrument amnesty'. Yodel took on the vital role of delivery partner, with its YodelDirect service collecting the donated instruments from Oxfam's 700 shops and delivering them to the Amnesty's headquarters for sorting and refurbishment. Yodel has since been delivering them to primary schools who registered to take part.

The amnesty and two part programme, which was produced by Jamie Oliver's production company, Fresh One, aired on Channel 4 in September 2014, and was fronted by internationally-renowned classical pianist James Rhodes.

The Channel 4 series followed James as he trialled an instrument amnesty in a Basildon primary school and geared up to go nationwide. With the school in special measures, a music budget of precisely zero pounds & teachers already stretched to the limit, James' mission was to show through direct action just what putting an instrument into the hands of a child can do. As the series aired a website and a partnership with Oxfam and Yodel made it possible for the public to donate their unwanted instruments and get them to the schools in need.

Support from Oxfam, Yodel, change.org, Google and Universal Music helped to bring the project to life, with celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Jessie J, Damon Albarn, Sir Tom Jones, Tinie Tempah and Ronnie Wood encouraging the public to get involved.

James, who had a troubled childhood which led to drug addiction and mental health issues, believes that music has a huge role to play in helping children to develop and learn creatively. He said: "Music saved my life. It's that powerful. Young children have a hunger and thirst to learn music and we must give every child the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.  The 'instrument amnesty' has helped make this a reality for thousands of kids up and down the country.  With the crucial support of partners like Yodel's YodelDirect service we've achieved something brilliant, long lasting and life affirming."

To help maximise the impact of his campaign to improve music education, James has also set up a petition on change.org, the world's largest petition platform. So far James has received over 70,000 of the 100,000 signatures needed to raise the issue with the Government and help ensure every child has the chance to play an instrument.

Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel, said: "Every parcel we deliver is important to its recipient and this is definitely the case with the instrument amnesty. We are incredibly proud to have played a part in this wonderful opportunity, bringing the gift of music to over 10,000 children."

Yodel already has an established link with education, delivering millions of parcels of educational materials to schools, colleges and students each year.

Dr. Lin Phillips, head teacher of Falconbrook Primary School in Battersea and one of the schools which received the instruments, commented: "Thanks to the brilliant Don't Stop the Music campaign, we have started a new band which gives the children another opportunity to play in assemblies and concerts. I'd like to thank all those who donated instruments, as well as James Rhodes, Yodel and all those who made the amnesty happen. You've helped change lives and your instruments have gone to a fantastic new home!"

Duran, a year six pupil at Falconbrook Primary School said "I'm really enjoying learning new music and playing as part of a group!"

To find out more visit http://www.dontstopthemusic.co.uk/

Yodel And James Rhodes Deliver The Gift Of Music To Falconbrook Primary School In Battersea

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