Press Release: Grant provides lifeline to Whiteley’s community choir  

27th September 2021

A grant from the RC Sherrif Trust which promotes and supports the arts in Elmbridge, has provided crucial support for the Whiteley Village Community Choir, enabling it to relaunch. The choir of residents has grown to over 20 members including two centenarians – with the oldest singer being an incredible 106!

Laura Cole, Head of Community at the Whiteley Homes Trust, said: “We’re so grateful to the RC Sherrif Trust for their support. Before Covid, we set up a resident choir in collaboration with Voices of Hope, which met on a weekly basis. Residents paid a small fee per session which was topped up by a subsidy from our charity.  The choir had to stop during the pandemic and was much missed by everyone.

“We’d hoped to restart it this autumn but due to the pandemic, Voices of Hope had to change how they charge us which could have made our subsidy unaffordable. We did not want to pass on any extra charges to residents and potentially deter people from attending, so we applied for a grant. The choir is really popular amongst residents and the funding will help us secure its future and keep membership fees to a minimum, so we were thrilled when RC Sherrif agreed to support us.”

Pete Allen, Director of The R C Sherriff Trust said, “The R C Sherriff Trust are extremely pleased to be able to support this excellent choir. It is a timely addition to the many organisations across Elmbridge using the arts to tackle concerns around social well-being and care in older residents and the R C Sherriff Trust is proud to be able to help through its grant-giving awards.”

Choir member and Whiteley resident, Pauline Simpson said: “We really missed our choir mornings during Covid as we had come to rely on this weekly pleasure as part of our routine. It’s been over 18 months since we all sang together so everyone is delighted to be back singing again and it’s lovely to see some new members as well. Apart from being a great opportunity to get together and make new friends, singing really lifts the spirits and is great for your general health and wellbeing – things that are especially important right now and I’d recommend it to anyone!”

Watch the Whiteley Community Choir in action here:

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