The Nucleo Project

The Nucleo Project is a social action programme in North Kensington that uses the pursuit of musical excellence as a way to enrich the lives of children, young people and their families. Its philosophy of fun, dedication and teamwork produces outstanding results in a relatively short time and is open to every child, completely free of charge. The programme is focused on orchestral playing and performance.

The Nucleo Project, part of the Sistema England movement, is closely modelled on El Sistema, the internationally recognised programme that has positively transformed the lives of more than 2 million children in Venezuela.

Lucy Maguire started The Nucleo Project in 2013 with four children in a basement flat. There are now over 200 children, aged 2 to 15, and it continues to grow. The programme is open every afternoon, six days a week, and children are required to attend a minimum of four days a week.

From the age of 7, children play in a symphony orchestra with strings, brass, woodwind and percussion, and take part in a family choir. Younger children are part of string ensembles and receive singing-based musicianship. Children showing a particular talent are given individual lessons, also provided free of charge.

“Music improves the children’s intellectual development, their sense of personal worth and identity, their ability to relate to each other, their happiness… It’s an incredibly long list. The main thing is that it makes them feel that even as a child they can matter, contribute and create beauty in the world,” says Lucy Maguire, who has taught in the Sistema Propatria Nucleo in Venezuela and performed with the Chacao Youth Orchestra.

Until now, Lucy has run this programme single handed with a few volunteers. The urgent need is to find funding for pastoral care and music tutors to support and expand her inspiring work. If you wish to make a donation to The Nucleo Project, you can donate securely on JustGiving here.