Eastleigh Young Carers Project held a fundraising event for their choir this Saturday (18/11/2017). Performers included over 30 members of Southampton Ukulele Jam, local artist and choir leader Lucy Kitchen, and of course, the Young Carers Choir themselves.
Over 60 people attended the event held at St Francis Hall Eastleigh, and almost £200 was raised. Assistant Manager of Eastleigh Young Carers Project, and Choir Facilitator, Kylie Barton opened the event and said:
I have been working with the choir for the past 3 years. And I have to say, choir night really is the highlight of my week, and I am sure you will get a sense of just why that is today when you hear our young carers perform… The choir have naturally formed a very tight knit group who help each other through things, support each other in their musical endeavours, and welcome new young carers with an open mind and an open heart. It has been a pleasure to help facilitate this for them, and to see them grow and develop over their time with us.”
Until recently,the project had a taxi that picked Young Carers up from the furthest corners of the borough so that they too were able to access this activity. Unfortunately due to uncertainty with funding this had to stop to allow choir to run for longer. To run choir for a year, including the taxi service, resources, our choir leader, and staff time organising the sessions, events, and other things that come with youth work sessions, it costs the project £10,000. At the moment, they only have enough money to run choir until May 2018. The project’s management are constantly writing funding bids to try and sustain this opportunity for the young people who get so much out of it. Hence why the fundraising event was held.
Two Young Carers also took to the stage to speak about what choir means to them. Charlotte Evans (age 16) said:
By being part of Young Carers it has helped me overcome the fear of people watching me sing. It has improved my self esteem”
Eve Longhurst (age 14) said:
By being part of Young Carers choir I have built up so much confidence. Before I was very nervous, and thought everyone around me was looking at me and judging me, but the leaders Lucy and Kylie have helped me get past that. It has had an amazing impact on my life”.
Choir has changed a lot over the years, and there have been many Young Carers take part from all over the county who have left as they grew older with more confidence, not just in their singing ability, but also in themselves. It has moved venues to The Point, changed choir leaders, and had various volunteers, but one thing has remained the same – the positive and therapeutic effect that the act of singing has had on our young carers.
If you would like to support the choir through donations, volunteering, or awareness raising, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 023 8090 2462.