Brighton homeless charity ‘movin’ on up’ with choir

Posted On 26 Apr 2018 at 2:48 am

A local charity is joining forces with a choir to help homeless people in Brighton and Hove make new friends, grow their confidence and enjoy a hot meal.

The Choir with No Name in partnership with Brighton Housing Trust from BHT Sussex on Vimeo.

Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) has teamed up with the Choir with No Name which runs similar projects in London, Birmingham and Liverpool.

BHT shared the news with supporters at an event on the i360 which turned into a test run for the choir’s organisers.

Guests, including the Lord Lieutenant Peter Field, Deputy Lieutenant Juliet Smith, serving and former councillors and BHT clients and staff all sang together.

BHT chief executive Andy Winter said yesterday: “I am so thrilled that this morning Brighton Housing Trust and the Choir with No Name launched a new choir for homeless people in Brighton and Hove.

“The launch took place on the British Airways i360, with 60 invited guests belting out Primal Scream’s ‘Movin’ On Up’ as they ascended.

“The Choir with No Name has for the past 10 years been running choirs for people who have experienced homelessness.

“All their choirs rehearse weekly followed by a hot meal together, performing regularly at a wide variety of venues throughout the year.

“The Brighton choir will offer some of the most marginalised members of the community the opportunity to make friends, grow in confidence and sing away their worries in a safe and non-judgmental environment, empowering them to flourish as individuals and move away from homelessness long term.”

Marie Benton, founder and chief executive of the Choir with No Name, said at the i360 event: “We’re delighted to be coming to Brighton and also delighted to be working with Brighton Housing Trust.

“As well as the choir manager and choir director roles, we’ll be looking for volunteers to help with the choir, and also local businesses who want to help out and get involved.”

Mr Winter said: “The partnership will see Brighton Housing Trust employ a part-time choir manager to run the day to day management of choir rehearsals, performances and volunteers.

“This role will also provide choir members with direct personal support, signposting and access to services provided by Brighton Housing Trust and other organisations.

“The Choir with No Name will continue to do what they do best – the music. They will be looking to employ a talented freelance choir director who will lead the choir at rehearsals, gigs and outreach singing workshops, ensuring members reach their full musical potential.

“This is such an exciting opportunity for marginalised people, for Brighton and Hove, and for Brighton Housing Trust.

“We are so pleased to be working with the Choir with No Name whose work I have admired for many years.

“Most importantly, this gives clients of BHT and other organisations the opportunity to get together, sing and provide each other with support.

“Many thanks to the wonderful people at the British Airways i360 who donated the flight for this launch and for helping to make this event such a success.”

  1. Gerry Hussein Reply

    Great initiative!!! What the homeless lack IMO is human connections with their family, friends, peers,once neighbours etc and this could be a route to generating new human relationships. Without others, we are nothing. Choirs in communities bring people together socially thus increasing chances that problems made worse by isolation can be caught at an earlier stage. Opening up with our problems to our nearest and dearest and to others in our community can help prevent the spiral into despair that too often leads to homelessness.

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