Teesside singing group helping those with low self-esteem to build their confidence

A man on Teesside says a singing group he set up to help people improve their mental health has changed his life.

Chris Gray started the Rise Up Project last year for people who aren't confident singing in front of others but have a passion for singing.

The 39-year-old was inspired to create the group through his love of musicals. Credit: Chris Gray

He said: "I don't have a background in music no. I've always just loved singing, loved music. I just wanted to do something on the side where I could get to meet like minded people and just have a sing.

"And just grow my own confidence and grow other people's confidence. And it's just developed from there really."

The project says it is for those who have anxiety, depression, low self-esteem or are simply low on confidence, but love to sing.

One of the Rise Up Project's youngest members, 17-year-old Rhiannon Whoodall-Scott Credit: Chris Gray.

Rhiannon came to the group lacking the confidence to sing in front of others. Now she performs at open mic nights.

She said: "I suffered with mental health problems, so things like depression, anxiety, really really low self esteem.

"My Mum actually saw it on Facebook, she said it'll be really great for you and being a teenager I didn't really believe her but it really honestly was one of the best things that I've ever chosen to do."