Soul Of The City Gospel Choir Raises Funds And Spirits For Key Workers
Many of you are aware that Exeter-based Soul of the City Gospel Choir has been raising funds for PPE for frontline workers through NHS Hero Support. In just one week, their fabulously fun filled video of a Jackie Wilson classic “Higher & Higher’ has raised spirits as well as funds for so many key workers. The video has had over 20K views and donations have increased by £10K. See Video.
Sue Ellar, Digital Lead NHS Hero Support
“Besides the funds it’s raising, the NHS Hero Support team has been uplifted by Soul of the City Gospel Choirs song, making us laugh and cry in equal measure.’
£10K buys 30,000 visors or 3,000 gowns. We cannot be sure how many lives are being protected or indeed saved through our video; however, even if it is just one, that is amazing. In addition, singing, and particularly songs like these, have a huge impact on our wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
Fran Andre/Choir Musical Director
“To sing is a complete workout and is excellent for our physical health. You need to breathe deeply when singing, practising breath control which increases lung strength and capacity. You engage your core, strengthen your diaphragm, improve your posture and of course your mental health and general wellbeing.”
Our lungs need to be in good shape any time, yet now more than ever we can all benefit from singing. In a recent Oxford University study, singing has shown to boost the immune system, reduce the levels of stress hormone cortisol, and boost antibodies. Like the gym, endorphins are released, by both the physical act of singing and by the fun and joy expressed through each song!
Liz Davenport. Chief Executive Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust./ Friend of Lucie – Alto
“It’s really uplifting to know that we’re not on our own doing this. We’re proud of what we’re doing for our local community and we also feel like our whole community is behind us. Soul of the City’s video is such a great example of how well supported we are.”
We have had so many heartfelt responses to the video. These range from authentic requests for people to donate for “Keep Them Safe” PPE that offers support to frontline workers to comments simply about how gospel music and choirs uplifts your mood, especially with the fun attics in the video.
Whether it is tears, laughter or both when watching the video, perhaps even singing and dancing along, so many people have felt connected, and key workers have been acknowledged and celebrated. We have had some wonderful videos back from NHS workers who, when off duty and with appropriate distancing, have danced along to the track – letting off a bit of steam after an intense shift. They have all said how much they enjoyed it and were so grateful for our video.
AT, Midwife/ Friend of Nell – Tenor
‘The singing in the Soul of The City video was so happy and joyous that it made us want to reply by dancing up an empty corridor with gratitude, after our shift had finished. In celebrating a group of people who are trying to help us through the power of song, our team of midwives agreed that it was also the first time we have laughed in such a long time and to know that people care so much to organise and fund raise has meant the world to us. Unite in song! ‘
Dr. Molly Bodinetz, Clinical Psychologist/Choir Alto
‘The outlet of getting to sing my heart out in choir has been absolutely indispensable. It is a huge stress reliever at the best of times, but right now it feels all the more important.”
It’s crucial we also look after our mental health in these times of Lockdown. We might be on the frontline or isolated at home, but singing can be a powerful antidote, especially when you sing songs that lift you ‘Higher & Higher!”
Seriously, the positive effects of singing on your mental health are well documented – links below. These include many social benefits, a sense of belonging and feeling connected – even online; in fact, it seems the reasons to singing are endless – it’s a natural antidepressant, lowers stress levels, improves mental alertness, boosts confidence, a robust physical workout, strengthens our core, improves posture, boosts immune, social bonding and cohesion, stimulates the vagus nerve, improves sleep….. oh and it’s fun! And in our case to raise funds for essential PPE to save lives.
So…. Sing for Health, Wellbeing and also essential PPE
It has been brilliant for us to support NHS Hero Support who are a small agile volunteer organisation able to access and buy significant amounts of PPE and distribute it fast to those in need.
At our last choir rehearsal (online of course) we did a poll. In addition to the choir’s 4 doctors, one nurse, NHS support manager and 5 NHS responders, we also have within the choirs direct families approximately 45 NHS workers. So it’s very close to home for all of us in the choir, like so many across the country.
The Soul of the City choir are so grateful for all the donations: it feels wonderful to be able to help and, together, we are literally saving lives. Our main goal is to raise funds for PPE, yet we are raising spirits too, improving mental and physical health of all who dance and sing along AND boosting morale for all NHS workers.
Also a huge thank you to the Press, as you too are helping us spread the word and it is making a HUGE difference. In fact, it was randomly picked up in CTV News in Canada. Please help share this, raising awareness, funds and wellbeing!