Our very own talented Joe Cook wins a national award.

cllr sandhu joe mark steele mark patton and children from the session

A huge congratulations to Joe Cook who has won the Unsung Hero at the Music Mark awards.

Joe, who works for the Coventry Music Hub, was nominated in the category in recognition of his tireless work with pupils across the city.

He was presented with his award at one of his teaching sessions by Cllr Dr Kindy Sandhu, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills. When asked about the award she paid tribute to Joe’s hard work.

She said: “It was absolutely fantastic to be able to present Joe with this award and to see first-hand the brilliant work he is doing in schools.

“Joe is a credit to this Council but also to our city. He’s inspirational and you can see that in his relationship with the young people. He’s brought them together and not only taught them how to play instruments but also to work together as a team to produce something truly special.”

When asked about his award, Joe was typically modest and chose instead to highlight the efforts of the young people.

He said: “It’s nice to get recognition on a national level. Particularly because I’m working with kids that have been excluded and this shines a light on them and really champions them.

“I love making music, but I love helping these kids more. So, being able to give them this opportunity is really important to me.”

Over the last two years, Joe has been working closely with young people excluded from school/or at risk of exclusion. The programme, called Positive Choices, has seen the Coventry Music Hub support young people in the city by involving them in a number of creative, musical after school sessions.

The project ran for two years at Sydney Stringer Academy, Foxford School, The Westwood Academy and Grace Academy. During this time, pupils learnt invaluable skills such as song writing, musical production and how to play various instruments.

Thanks to Joe’s guidance, the young people involved in the project have been supported able to create an album which showcases their creativity and musical talent.

The album which is also called ‘Positive Choices’ is out now. You can listen to it on YouTube.

Watch the video below to hear more from Cllr Sandhu and Joe.

Published: 8th January 2024