Gas emergency and pipeline service, Wales & West Utilities has scooped a coveted award for its pioneering partnership with Music in Hospitals & Care.

The company received the top award in the Arts, Business & Health category of the Arts & Business Cymru Awards for the partnership, which brought live music to care settings to help improve health and wellbeing and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Wales & West Utilities partnered with Music in Hospitals & Care prior to the pandemic, but due to social distancing restrictions, delivered the programme from June last year. The programme delivered 45 live music sessions, reaching around 675 adults in care homes and day centres across Wales.

Every year, Music in Hospitals & Care’s professional musicians share live music with people from across the UK who may not otherwise get to experience it. This includes those living with dementia, who have mental health problems, or who are seriously ill. 

Nigel Winnan, Customer & Social Obligations Strategy Manager at Wales & West Utilities, said:

We are thrilled to win this award for our work with Music in Hospitals & Care.

We provided funding which enabled Music in Hospitals & Care to reach those people who needed it the most. It’s well understood that music is a powerful healer and this partnership allowed musicians to go into the heart of care settings, which had such a powerful and positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

Winning this award is great recognition of the work both our colleagues, and our partners, undertake to benefit the communities where we work.

Barbara Osborne, Chief Executive at Music in Hospitals & Care, said:

We are delighted that our partnership with Wales & West Utilities has been recognised through this award. The partnership has enabled people, particularly in some of the more rural communities in west Wales, to experience joy through live music.

A staff member at Tenby Cottage Hospital told us: ‘One person I care for, who is living with dementia, can struggle to join in and even make conversation. The live music was wonderful and it certainly helped to reduce her anxiety and agitation. It lifted her spirits and enabled her in that moment to connect with the music, sing in Welsh and fully participate. She looked so happy.” Moments like these really demonstrate the healing power of live music.

The Arts & Business Cymru Awards were held on 18 May and celebrated excellence in partnership working. The Arts, Business & Health award recognised a partnership that benefitted mental, emotional and / or physical wellbeing through the arts.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night.