When she first set up the first London choir back in 2008, our founder Marie Benton dreamed of the members and volunteers supporting each other through tough times and coming together to bond over the joys of rehearsal and performance.
13 years later, that is happening week in, week out. Just ten minutes of a Choir with No Name rehearsal is proof enough of how singing really does improve our members’ confidence and skills.
Now we want to harness all the good stuff that goes into our choirs in London, Liverpool, Brighton, Birmingham and most recently in Cardiff, and get it going across the UK!
Here are just some of the exciting things that we are looking forward to in the next couple of years:
- Having spent the past 18 months or so consulting with our members, volunteers, staff, trustees, funders and stakeholders and thinking strategically about what the Choir with No Name does next, we have developed a new 2021 - 24 organisational strategy. You can read it here.
- From now until 2024 we want to do lots more of what we’re good at; building choir communities in new towns and cities through innovating and improving our delivery model, led by our choir members and in partnership with inspiring local homelessness and arts organisations.
- We want to support others to do it too, developing training and consultancy offers to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from the uplifting and cathartic experience of singing together.
- We will pilot our new “community choir” model (delayed by covid), in which we will continue to recruit through homelessness services, but will also welcome choir members from across the full spectrum of the local population, building diverse and integrated communities that truly challenge perceptions of “the homeless” and celebrate all choir members as individuals and as equals.
- Through this strategy we will learn from these pilots, working towards a time when we can offer the resources and support for others to start a Choir with No Name and build a national movement of singing, dancing, laughing communities who support their members to overcome life’s challenges.
- We have also launched a more diverse and robust fundraising strategy which we will continue to work hard throughout 2021 and beyond, to sustain our work, maximise our assets and guarantee our choirs can grow and continue in fine voice for many years to come.
- We will continue to run our existing choirs in Liverpool, Birmingham, Brighton (in partnership with Brighton Housing Trust), Cardiff (in partnership with The Wallich) and London (we are currently looking for a new partner - let us know if that is you!), delivering weekly rehearsals all year round, foot stomping gigs and brilliant community projects for people affected by homelessness.
- We want to make an impact beyond our organisation, joining the big conversations around homelessness and the impact of the arts on someone's recovery journey, as well as sharing our expertise with others. We want more friends in high places, diverse places and new places, to help spread the word about the work we do and the importance of singing on the wellbeing of those affected by homelessness.
Most importantly (and this is a big one) we won't stop having a good laugh, in rehearsals and at performances. We are an ambitious bunch, with high hopes for the future and hope you will join us on our musical journey!