New choirs to be set up in poorest parts of Westminster

Choirs can apply for start up grant from council

Monday, 21st May 2018 — By Tom Foot


Heather Acton singing outside Westminster Abbey at the launch

FIVE new singing groups are to be set up in some of the poorest parts of Westminster.

Singing is believed to be one of the most effective ways to overcome milder mental health problems like depression and stress.

The council is offering £1,000 to get a new choir off the ground and train up members up to spot and support people with mental illness.

On Tuesday, five community choirs sang at Westminster Cathedral (pictured) as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

The Pimlico Choir and the newly-formed Westminster Mind choir “Harmonious” – with members ranging from early 30s to mid- 70s – were among the performers.

Public health chief Cllr Heather Acton joined in one choir, belting out Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline on the day. She said: “I’m so pleased that we are supporting the creation of new choral groups, and helping them to reach out to people whose mental health will benefit from their involvement.”

The deadline to apply for a Westminster Sings grant is June 1. See: www.westminster. sings-grant

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