She seems to put everyone else first, and she makes things happen.
Milestones Trust community project The Music Train hosts inclusive live music events. These provide everyone with an opportunity to listen to, and join in with, talented musicians. The Music Train was set up by Liz Gray in 2013, and she has led the project as a volunteer since 2016.
The concerts were initially held at Avon Valley Railway. Then, in 2016, Liz decided that she wanted to bring The Music Train to other venues, and to run events all year round. She approached Milestones Trust to work in partnership with her, and we of course agreed. Since then, there have been over 200 Music Train concerts at various venues across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
Liz is truly one of a kind, and Milestones is very lucky to have her as a volunteer. She coordinates funding bids, hires venues, books musicians, promotes the concerts, and turns up every week with her big, welcoming smile. She says:
“What I enjoy most is seeing the pleasure that the events give to everyone involved – the people the Trust supports and their carers, the musicians, people from the community – from babies to adults in their 90s.”
Keeping the events free of charge is very important to Liz, and she works tirelessly to ensure that they are able to stay this way. Many of the people who attend would find it difficult to go to free evening concerts in pubs and clubs, so Liz wants to make sure that it is as easy as possible for them to access The Music Train’s concerts.
The Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to all social activities, but Liz was still determined to keep the Music Train on track. She quickly moved concerts online. She says:
“During Covid we held over eighty events on Facebook and Zoom. These provided an opportunity for people to make song requests and interact with the musicians.”
Now hosting in-person concerts again, The Music Train has recently held events at Coniston Community Café in Patchway and Kingsmeadow @ Made Forever in Kingswood. At a recent concert, one of the musicians said of Liz:
“She’s an absolute force. She seems to put everyone else first, and she makes things happen.”
A young adult who regularly attends The Music Train events said:
“The music is good, but I would like to see Liz sing!”