Havering Mind's choir hitting all the right notes on road to improving mental health
PUBLISHED: 10:00 02 May 2016
Songstresses enjoying a new zest for life thanks to a mental health charity's choir shared a little joy with supermarket shoppers when they stopped by to raise awareness.
Havering Mind’s choir treated Tesco Roneo Corner staff and members of the public to a 90-minute performance, featuring uplifting tracks such as Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly and Abba’s Thank You for the Music.
The women, joined by a few male members, managed to raise £200 for Havering Mind, the charity the Recorder is supporting through its Mind Your Mental Health campaign, running throughout 2016.
The choir’s volunteer leader, Amelia Dunn, said: “As a volunteer at Havering Mind in 2009, I decided to form a choir for the service users.
“I felt it could build their confidence and create a feeling of wellbeing.
“They look forward to our weekly sessions, which create a joyous atmosphere that is good for everyone. I am very pleased with their progress, especially as they now regularly sing in public places.”
The performance, in Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, was also to promote Havering Mind’s upcoming show Rule Britannia.
To be staged at Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, at 6pm on May 15, the classical music evening will be in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday.
The show will be led by the Essex Concert Orchestra, which will perform all your favourite rousing tunes, including Land of Hope and Glory, The Great Escape theme and, of course, Rule Britannia.
Members of Havering Mind’s choir got into the patriotic spirit during their Tesco Roneo Corner visit, waving flags and bringing along a cardboard cutout of the Queen.
Lesley Dunn, the supermarket’s community champion, said “We were delighted to have Havering Mind’s choir come and sing in the store.
“The customers really enjoyed listening to them as they shopped and it was great to see the Queen in the store too.”
It is clear to see that, for its members, the choir is an immensely rewarding part of life.
One member told the Recorder: “I love the choir, if you’re not feeling well it cheers you up.
“We always come out smiling! I love to sing.”
A fellow member said the group helps them to “switch off” for a few hours, while another added: “I enjoy attending the choir as it makes me feel positive about myself whilst being with other people.”
Havering Mind has announced it is soon to launch a “Coping Through Music” programme, part of its Live a Better Life service.
The aim is to improve participants’ wellbeing through exploring their musical interests and sharing feel-good, positive tracks.
For more on the Rule Britannia show, call Queen’s Theatre on 01708 443333 or visit queens-theatre.co.uk.
If you are in need of support from Havering Mind, call 01708 457040.