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The People's Choir

Lead

Dr Theo Stickley (Associate Professor of Mental Health)

Clinical Lead

Kevin Blakey (OT, Community Rehab Team South, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust)

Start and End Dates

June 2012 – November 2018

Objectives

  • To collaboratively create a community-based choir.
  • To ensure that it is inclusive for people who might be vulnerable, isolated, lacking in confidence etc.
  • To create a network that is focused upon enjoyment and friendship.
  • To help facilitate new friendships and new social networks.
  • To make this enterprise sustainable.
  • To embed a research project within the choir. It is hoped that this pilot will pave the way for the network to collaborate in applying for funds for a larger study.

Outcomes so far

  • “In kind” support from the Royal Centre for pro bono hire of meeting space
  • 130 attendees
  • Raised £2,125 in subscriptions
  • Average attendance of 37 members per week
  • Public performance contributing to the community: Royal Centre Open day; opening of Mental Health Awareness Weeks performance; IMH research open day; Highbury Hospital Summer Fayre, carol singing at Nottingham Contemporary
  • We are preparing for further public performances/fund-raising events
  • There is evidence that the choir is growing in numbers (average of 37 per week since starting back in September)
  • People are enjoying coming
  • It is growing largely by “word-of-mouth”
  • We are not overtly keeping records of people’s difficulties/disabilities, but it is apparent that most people have heard about the choir through the Trust’s services
  • It is apparent that we are succeeding in getting a diversity of people
  • We would guess that the majority of people are over 50 years of age
  • We have conducted an evaluation and conducted 10 interviews amongst participants for a Masters student research project (ethical approval gained) A research report will be drafted early next year.
  • Also received funding from the Arts Council of £15K, October 2015.

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