Local group ‘Relight My Choir’ raised over £1,400 for Dorset Mind with their Christmas concert on 1 December and promote the idea of improving mental health through singing.
The choir has selected Dorset Mind as their chosen charity and will fundraise at concerts across the county to support them in delivering mental health services to people in Dorset.
More than eight in ten (83%) people have experienced early signs of poor mental health including feeling anxious, stressed, having low mood or trouble sleeping in the last 12 months according to Public Health England, and the charity provides support groups to educate and help people with the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and to develop coping skills.
Local business, 1st Waste Management generously sponsored the Christmas concert at Poole High School, which also featured children from Dream Academy, a local Performing Arts school, as well as local singing group The Collective, covering the costs of the event so that all funds raised would go directly to Dorset Mind.
The charity are hugely grateful to the choir, not just for raising vital funds, but also for raising awareness around mental health, tackling the stigma, and helping to raise the profile of the charity.
Relight My Choir, which was only founded back in February (2019), is a great example of how singing can be a brilliant tool to support wellbeing through creativity, self-expression and being part of a community.
Dr Andrew Mayers, Patron for Dorset Mind and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, who is also a member of the choir said: “It is a double pleasure to be part of this fantastic choir and to represent Dorset Mind.
“There is no doubt that singing can really help boost our mental health.
“Many of us in Relight My Choir have our own mental health story and have found singing and being part of such a supportive group so uplifting.
“For me, it is even more pleasing that we have nominated Dorset Mind as our chosen charity and the funds we raised at the Christmas concert was fantastic, it will really help provide more support for mental health across Dorset.”
Share joy and kindness
Founder of Relight My Choir, Gem Rose, said: “I started Relight My Choir to give grown-ups a safe place they can go once a week to be amongst friends, forget about everyday struggles, laugh, and improve their mental health.
“The benefits of singing – especially group singing – in relation to mental health are plentiful.
“I also really wanted the choir to form part of a larger community in the local area and for us to share joy and kindness by helping others outside the group, which is why I decided to put on the Christmas concert.
“Dorset Mind is a perfect charity for us to link up with, and many of us have experienced mental health problems ourselves, so it means a lot to us to have raised such a great amount of money which we know will do so much good for others in Dorset.”
Relight My Choir also previously performed at Dorset Mind’s Charity Ball at the Vitality Stadium, as well as doing a flash mob for the charity at Bournemouth Pride, and will be performing at further locations throughout December including Flirt Cafe and Falkland Square in Poole.
To keep up to date with the choir’s performances follow them on Facebook here.