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Monthly Award Winning Story:

Has a training course ever put you to sleep? This one was an inspiration. It led to success, funding - and publicity

They even developed their own course after attending How to use music to develop community involvement. Not to mention a radio station and a recording studio.

The world is full of people who want to do one thing in life, but find they have to do another. Here's an example from Tom Bonner, community development worker of the Sunlight Development Trust - with a very happy ending.

Tom Bonner"I studied music with my colleague Greg Webster - who also attended the course - but like a lot of others I couldn't get work in the music industry.

However, I had an interest in catering from a family catering business. So I began working as a Café Development Manager for the Sunlight Development Trust in Kent.

The Community Café in the Sunlight Centre serves low cost, healthy food using fair trade produce.

When the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott made a visit, he said,

“Every community should have a Sunlight Centre”.

We came on the course with the idea of developing the cafe and incorporating a radio station and recording studio around it.

The course inspired us. I had been on training sessions where I was asleep by the end. But on this course I was full of energy as we were constantly getting up and moving around with plenty of breaks and lots of jamming and spontaneity!

As a result, myself and another colleague Peter Holbrook have developed and run 6 courses – “So You Want to Run a Community Café?” using lots of the ideas we learned.

Since the course we have received funding from Big Lottery Fund and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and within six months we developed a recording studio and a community radio station.

These opened on 24th March this year to great local enthusiasm and we received lots of publicity for the cafe."

Tom Bonner, Cafe Development Manager
Healthy Living Centre, Project Sunlight

Any news from you?

Don’t forget to send your own story. If we list it in our library we'll give you £75 off the cost of any course you choose. And you could win the monthly prize - a free place on any training course you like. Every month we invite readers to send in a story to share with colleagues.

It might be a tricky problem you managed to solve, a project that went well - or even one that went wrong.

Anything unusual, unexpected or memorable about your work that others can learn from can be enormously helpful. And anything to do with attending one of our courses is interesting both to us and other attendees.

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How to use music to develop community involvement