Irene Taylor Trust Case Study

irene taylor trust


The Irene Taylor Trust (ITT) was founded in 1995. It delivers creative music projects to prisoners, former prisoners and young people in contact with the criminal justice system across the UK. Projects range from single sessions, weeklong projects, year-long residencies, training and collaborative projects with other arts organisations.

ITT believe creating original music collaboratively has a powerful positive impact on people’s lives, bringing new confidence, important transferrable skills and raised aspirations for the future. Music can break down barriers and help people who have found themselves on the fringes of society to become celebrated and valued members of the community.

ITT’s unique intervention and passion of its staff to deliver impactful projects was a real draw for CAN, and were therefore delighted to welcome them onto the CAN³ programme. There is a great alignment between the CAN³ modules of support and ITT’s strategy to increase its sustainability and reduce its dependency on grant based income. 

irene taylor trust

What ITT needed support with:

The panel CAN³ provides support in the five key areas that we feel are crucial to developing an impact-led strategy for growth. CAN Invest and ITT agreed that support in year one would focus on:

1. Boost growth and sustainability – by increasing (trading) income and potentially reducing costs 

2. Create more impact – by supporting more people, and more effectively

Support provided in CAN³

ITT received 10 days of support, to develop the following:

(1.25 days) An Impact Audit was conducted to identify ITT’s priority areas of development in terms of social impact.

(4.75 days) A Theory of Change, to help ITT communicate the change they make to funders, staff members, associates, partner organisations and society.

(2 days) A bespoke impact measurement framework, giving ITT a robust and systematic approach to collecting impact data.

(2 days) Tailored support and advisory on developing a new training services product, looking to ensure retention of quality and income sustainability.

Results after 12 months in CAN³

Income- £401,728 (55% increase on the previous year).

Impact- 418 beneficiaries supported  (39% increase on previous year).

Desks- 5 desks (no change).


Summary against CAN³ objectives

Deeper impact: the growth of ITT means they are delivering creative music projects to more individuals that are currently on the fringes of society. The support from CAN³ will enable to more clearly articulate the impact of such projects on those individuals and wider stakeholders. Their enhanced awareness of different beneficiaries’ journeys will be used to develop delivery manuals to ensure a deep impact is created across projects and all locations.

Embedded impact strategy: ITT’s senior team have undoubtedly increased their awareness and understanding of social impact’s potential role across different function the organisation. This has led to a different perspective during decision making process which will only increase.

Improved systems to manage impact: ITT are moving towards having robust monitoring tools to ensure consistent monitoring of their impact across all programs and under different delivery models.

irene taylor trust

ITT are scheduled to remain in the CAN³ accelerator for at least a further 12 months. The mutually agreed plan will include work on the following:

• Replication: be prepared to replicate their Making Tracks programme in a way that maximises social impact, retains quality and IP.

• Increase earned income: through enhanced sales procedures for existing resources and supported product development of existing skills.

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