MEMBERS of one of Britain’s biggest bands are to break the ground of a new music therapy centre to help children in the North East.

The centre, at the former matron’s lodge at Newcastle’s Fleming Hospital, will use music therapy primarily to help children and young people from across the region and has been supported by the Graham Wylie Foundation.

To officially mark the start of the development of the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre, Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson and Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines will not only ceremonially break the turf, but will also talk about their reasons for supporting the initiative.

The centre will be run by Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest independent music therapy charity, and will be the first of its kind outside London.

Nordoff Robbins music therapy uses the skilled use of music to help vulnerable and isolated people communicate and improve their wellbeing.

Along with donating a building, The Graham Wylie Foundation has raised substantial funds through its Rock’n’Raise campaign which has been backed by a host of stars, such as Kaiser Chiefs.

“They and many others have been unstinting in their support,” said Mr Wylie, “which is why we are delighted they have agreed to carry out the ceremonial ‘launch’ of the centre.”

CEO of Nordoff Robbins Julie Whelan said“We are thrilled to see ground broken today on our Newcastle centre.

“It is the first of its kind outside of London, and will enable us to reach more isolated and vulnerable people in the North, helping to change their lives through music.

“Our vision as a charity is a world where music therapy is available to all those who need it, and with this centre we have just taken a significant step forward to making that vision a reality.

“We thank the Graham Wylie Foundation for making it possible and the Kaiser Chiefs for being with us today to mark this occasion.”

Construction of the new centre is being carried out by North East-based JD Joinery and Building Services and managing director, Joe Dixon, said: “We are incredibly proud to be involved with the Graham Wylie Foundation to create the first Nordoff Robbins centre in the North East.

“The new centre is set to enrich the lives of thousands of children throughout the region and myself and the skilled team at JD Joinery and Building Services is delighted to be working alongside such inspiring individuals in the creation of this wonderful scheme.”

For further information on the Graham Wylie Foundation visit http://grahamwyliefoundation.org.uk/.

For further information on Nordoff Robbins visit www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk