Collection Hubs Advice

About Play for Cuba

Play for Cuba is an exciting new project to ship a container of musical instruments and equipment to young musicians on the island. Cuba is famous for its music. Creative arts are fully integrated into the curriculum, and the country’s free music schools nurture the talent of thousands of skilled young musicians each year. While the commitment and teachers are plentiful, musical instruments and resources are often in short supply because of the impact of the ongoing US blockade.

How you can help

People can support Play for Cuba by collecting and donating instruments. You can also sponsor and fundraise to pay for instruments and transport costs. In Spring2019 the instruments will be collected from all the regional hubs and loaded onto a container lorry. This will be centrally coordinated. The container will then travel to the NEU conference in Liverpool where it will be given a wonderful send off by delegates before its journey to Cuba.

Regional collection hubs

We are setting up a series of regional Play for Cuba hubs to act as a collection point and a coordination group for activities in local communities.

We need volunteers to run the regional collection hubs

To set up a collection hub you need to:

  • provide your name, email and contact number to be added to the Play for Cuba website and other publicity
  • promote Play for Cuba locally through the NEU, schools and colleges, other trade unions, local Cuba Solidarity Campaign groups, other organisations
  • organise a collection point for donated musical instruments. This could be available for any set period perhaps through November 2018– January 2018, or just for a specific couple of weeks. It is up to you.
  • delivery of donated instruments could be made by appointment only. You don’t need to staff a permanent storage space.
  • You may need to sort and pack items and then get them ready for collection. We will organise this centrally for a set day.
  • You could organise a big send off event, or a group day of sorting and packing

We will provide everyone with all the resources, toolkits and information needed to organise the regional hubs, including promotional materials, lists of instruments needed, packing arrangements and coordinated central collections.

In fact apart from setting up to collect the donated instruments locally, a regional hub can do as much as it wishes. There are lots of great ideas to involve schools, music groups, celebrities, the media, local organisations in events and activities to support Play for Cuba and we will be sharing these widely as they develop and take place.

We want Play for Cuba to be open to everyone. While the project has been developed by the NEU (NUT Section), the Cuba Solidarity campaign and the Music Fund for Cuba we really want to involve as many people as possible from any trade union and other organisations. We particularly want schools, colleges and community groups to get involved.

It’s surprising how many instruments are gathering dust in attics, garages, and stock rooms. Skilled craftspeople and musicians in Cuba are waiting to repair and breathe new life and tunes into these.

If you are interested in becoming the contact for a local or regional hub for Play for Cuba then please do get in touch as soon as possible.

You can contact Rob Miller at or call 0207 490 5715