The Bedminster Community Choir is an inter-generational, accessible community singing group who exist to improve the mental and physical health of all participants. We provide an inclusive, fun, friendly space where people can make friends, find support and improve their well-being through music and singing. In particular we like to engage socially isolated people and those with physical or mental health issues so that they can access a regular, local community project that will have a positive impact on their lives. We always welcome new members with open arms.
The Bedminster Community Choir is committed to engaging socially isolated people, particularly the elderly who, due to barriers such as mental health, physical health and financial pressures struggle to access activities outside of their home. For these members the transport and wrap around care Bedminster Community Choir provides is vital. With the range of ages, backgrounds and personalities the group encompasses, it feels like one big family, which is particularly important for those who live alone, without relations or close friends nearby.
Singing is good for your health and there are many new studies to support this. Participants broaden their understanding and appreciation of music, learning something new boosts self-esteem and confidence whilst stimulating the mind and memory of older singers. Singing strengthens the immune system and improves posture and sleep. It releases endorphins making it a natural anti-depressant, lowering stress levels and improving mental alertness. Singing in a choir widens your circle of friends and boosts self-esteem. Two members of our group have reported significant improvement in their COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary lung Disease) symptoms and say that singing with the choir has dramatically improved their lung function.
We have many testimonials from participants evidencing the need for this group:
"The choir is my rock. Last year when I had a long spell in hospital the people in choir were there for me and in March when my husband died they gave me hope. The support and friendship from choir keeps me going." – Betty Morris (87)
"The concentration takes me away from my everyday stresses. I come away feeling happy, relaxed and mellow." – Laura Sharp (37)
“Without choir I would be very lonely. My doctor told me it's been the best treatment I've had since my diagnosis so thank you to everyone!" – Alison Parry (60)
“Choir is so much fun! I love coming to sing with my Mum and Nana” – Issy Frith (9)
“I have COPD and it’s amazing how much choir has helped with my health!” – Anita Frith (73)
We are seeking funds of £6440 which will be spent on next year’s project (September 2019 – July 2020). This will include 36 choir sessions and up to 3 public performances to showcase, entertain and promote good mental health and well-being through singing and group participation. The grant will also fund venue hire, transport (for the elderly or those who have a physical disability or illness that need support to get to the sessions), choir leader planning and delivery of sessions, admin support and marketing resources.
How will we spend the money?
Expenditure (Based on 36 choir sessions inc.3 public performances)
Choir leader (planning and delivery/fundraising) 3420
Choir admin assistant (participant support/marketing costs) 1440
Transport expenses (for elderly and disabled embers) 360
Venue hire 1220
This is an on-going project which we hope to continue for years to come as there is a clear need for this type of group in our area. We would like to see the group working towards performances for larger audiences to promote the positive impact that singing can have and show that anyone can get involved. Choirs should be accessible to everybody not just for those able to afford a hefty termly subscription fee to sing complex musical arrangements. The benefits of singing should benefit all and that is what we want to promote with our group. We think it’s wonderful that group singing and education around the health benefits of it are gaining momentum especially with TV shows like Our Dementia Choir. We've known how good singing is for us for years and we want to share that with more people!
We rely on grants and donations to keep this project going and we have come to the end of our current funding stream. We do ask participants for a weekly donation but only if they can afford it and money can be an issue for some. We are seeking funding for the next years project and want so much to keep this much needed community resource alive! If you could help us do this in any way that you can we would be so very grateful. Come and see us sing some time or join our group!!www.bedminstercommunity choir.co.uk