Big Noise celebrates decade of support from People's Postcode Lottery

Big Noise success stories celebrate 10 years of funding by People’s Postcode Lottery 



This year at Sistema Scotland we are celebrating a decade of funding by the People’s Postcode Lottery to our Big Noise programmes across Scotland.

For the last ten years, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have been supporting the charity and to date have raised £4 million to help support programmes in our six Big Noise communities – Raploch and Fallin, in Stirling, Govanhill, in Glasgow, Torry, in Aberdeen, Douglas, in Dundee, and Wester Hailes in Edinburgh.

As the charity celebrates a decade of funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Aiden Macdonald – one of our talented young people at Big Noise Govanhill with his sights set on a career in classical music - has told how the support of Big Noise has transformed his life.




Aiden, who is now 17, has been part of the Big Noise programme in Govanhill, Glasgow, since he was seven and is now preparing to study music at the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


Aiden lives in Govanhill with his mum, Julie, who works as a carer. He is currently studying at the Music School at Douglas Academy in Milngavie. The unit is for young musicians of exceptional ability to continue their general education while receiving specialist instrumental tuition and extra time for musical studies.


Aiden learned to play the viola and performed in the Scottish Parliament through Big Noise. He was recently awarded a scholarship to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s seniors’ programme.


He has performed on BBC Scotland and gained a place on National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, performing at the Barbican in London, being given a leadership role and a full bursary, something he described as a “massive achievement”.


Aiden became Co-Principal Viola of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, is principal viola at the RCS juniors, and led an orchestra for the Benedetti Sessions, as well as winning the RSC Juniors Concerto Competition.




Aiden Macdonald said:

“I have achieved more than I ever could have imagined. Big Noise opened a whole new world, and it changed my life.

“I started with Big Noise when I was seven. I was in P2 and they came into my school and showed us the instruments. I had never seen anything like it. I got to pick one to play and from then on, I went to Big Noise and played music.

“Big Noise changed my whole life. They made me more confident. I was encouraged to perform and try new things.

“Having something outside of school was great. It was a different world. It was like a second family for me.”




Aiden’s mum, Julie, said:

“Big Noise has opened so many opportunities for Aiden over the years. I'm so proud of everything he has achieved musically.


"The staff have been amazing. and I can't thank them enough for the support and guidance they have provided to Aiden and myself on his musical journey throughout the years.”

Vicky Williams, chief executive of Sistema Scotland, said:

“We are so proud of Aiden and all he has achieved. We are always thrilled to see our participants grow up with us and go on to do the things they dream of when they leave school. While some participants like Aiden choose to pursue their musical talents, many others have found bright futures in a range of different areas in work, study or training.

“The important thing is that Big Noise teaches young people the vital life skills they will need as they move on to adulthood and we know that whatever the children on our programmes go on to do they will carry confidence, resilience and sense of support and care with them for the rest of their lives.

“We are very grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting our work for the past ten years, which has helped us ensure children and young people reach their full potential, no matter their background or financial circumstances.”


Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:

“Aiden’s story shows the real power of music and we’re delighted that our players are supporting such wonderful projects, bringing communities together and helping children and young people gain confidence and skills they can take with them through their lives. And of course, we wish Aiden well with his studies.”



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