Big Give Christmas Challenge

Give the gift of music to a homeless person

Thank you for your support!

We’re delighted to announce that we surpassed our target and raised £11,146 in The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2018! Huge thanks to everyone who donated – your support will help us bring the benefits of music-making to more homeless people.


The Big Give donations are still open

Although this year’s Christmas Challenge has now ended, there is still the opportunity to help our work with homeless people. Your support can make such a difference, so please donate what you can via the button below to give the gift of music to a homeless person this festive season.

Donate Online


From all of us at the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, thank you for your support.

If you would like to discuss a potential donation or have any questions, please contact Andrew McGowan, Director of Development on 020 7702 1377 or at


About the project: Never Failed Me Yet

For over two decades the Academy of St Martin in the Fields has been delivering music projects with homeless people in day centres, offering performances by our professional musicians followed by workshops where participants create their own music. This was recently described by one man as “the best thing in my life.”

Homelessness has risen by 169% since 2010. Whilst the needs of this group of people are obviously varied and complex, we have found that people are often affected by experiences of addiction or mental illness. Music-making is restorative in the short-term, and beneficial in the long-term as taking part in our projects enables individuals to connect with support services and make long-lasting changes to their lives.

In the words of one of our participants, “The music group is really wonderful for everyone’s spirit. When you’re homeless you can end up so low and the music group is one of the main things that changes how I feel and gives me some motivation.”

In 2019 we plan to bring to life a new version of Gavin Bryars’ iconic work Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet – a piece centred upon an unknown homeless man’s vocal refrain. This will involve professional musicians and people with experience of homelessness performing together throughout the night at a major London Gallery, and it will be the most accessible concert we have ever done.

We will work with more than sixty people during this project, engaging them with over a hundred hours of singing and music-making. Our work has a huge impact on people’s mental health, and the result of this is that people feel much more able to access accommodation and find employment. The concert will also launch a new toolkit devised by With One Voice to help cultural spaces engage better with homeless people.


Discover more

The Big Give Christmas Challenge
Academy of St Martin in the Fields Learning & Participation work
Guardian article about Gavin Bryar’s Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet