A MUSICAL charity has found a new home.

The North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre is continuing its sessions in Wath Court, near Hovingham, from March, after moving from its previous home in Old Malton.

The charity is moving towards community-based intervention, including training workshops and group activities.

“Music therapy can be beneficial for everyone, whether or not they have additional needs, right through from babies in the womb to individuals at the end of life,” said Laura Festa, director of the North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre.

“We are here to support individuals, and to make them feel like valued members of the community.”

North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre was established in 1987 by Mary and Raymond Abbotson after the couple became concerned by the long distances that families were travelling to access music therapy.

Mary trained as a music therapist in the 1970s in London, while Raymond was a head teacher of a SEN school in Liverpool – before moving to Ryedale. The couple fulfilled their vision of delivering therapy to Ryedale in a mobile unit, custom built to house a keyboard, computer and instruments.

A few years later, the charity started to deliver outreach sessions by focusing on activities in hospitals, SEN schools and hospices.

“Our goal is being an important part of the well-being of our community,” added Laura.

“We are often collaborating with organisations that share our aims and ambitions, to help build a strong network of support.

“I strongly believe in sharing music therapy strategies with families, teachers, institutions and those who are directly and indirectly involved in care.”

All the group sessions run at Wath Court are free, donations welcome.