A choir in Sussex for people who have experienced homelessness have taken their music online to keep its members connected during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Choir with No Name Brighton is made up of people who have experienced marginalisation and is run in partnership between the national Choir with No Name charity and local organisation Brighton Housing Trust.
In normal life, the group met every Monday with each rehearsal followed by a hot meal cooked by a team of volunteers.
As this cannot happen in the current climate, the team behind the choir have sought other ways of maintaining connection, which include the creation of this virtual choir where members can continue to sing together in a safe, non-judgmental space.
Since the virus struck, we've been doing everything we can to keep our community together. We've started a virtual choir using Zoom led by our amazing Director Freya, and various online social spaces. Our zoom sessions have been riotous, joyful affairs - seeing everyone's faces light up on the screen it's very clear just how much this means to people in the interim while we can't be physically together.”
Choir member Dee described the new online rehearsals as “a fab mix of unmuted anarchy and serious song learning in harmony” and said that the choir team had made the transition online “with energy, commitment and love as usual.”
The virtual choir is proving popular with members, as is a new private Facebook group that allows them to stay in touch and support each other.
For more vulnerable members, the weekly ‘check-in’ phone calls offer a crucial opportunity for some one-to-one support, as well as the sharing of the latest updates on how to keep safe and information about what other local support is available.