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.
Ten 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 and Birmingham, and get it going across the UK! At the Choir with No Name, we have an ultimate vision of a choir in every city that has a problem with homelessness. So this is only the beginning…
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 thinking strategically about what the Choir with No Name does next, we have developed a more diverse and robust fundraising strategy which we will continue to work hard on throughout 2018 and beyond, to guarantee our choirs can continue in fine voice for many years to come!
- Out of that strategic thinking process, we have developed a new 'partnership' choir model, where we team up with a homeless sector organisation who will take on the admin side of running the choir while we concentrate on what we do best - the music. Our homeless sector partners will be able to offer a more direct route into support and advice services for our members. This new way of working makes the choir a lot more sustainable long term, which is crucial to the future of our choirs. We launched our first partnership choir with Look Ahead, a care, support and housing service, in London in Feb 2018, where we merged our two London choirs into a single, centrally located 'superchoir'.
- We are planning roll this partnership model out to our existing choirs over the next few years and are excited to be launching a new partnership CWNN in Brighton, together with Brighton Housing Trust, later in 2018.
- We want to make 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.
- We will continue to put on very special gigs, especially a big gig at Christmas and another in the summer.
- 2018 is our 10th anniversary year, so we are planning some special birthday activities for our choirs across the year, with a special 10th anniversary Christmas gig in London in December.
Most importantly (and this is a big one) we won't stop having a good old laugh, in rehearsals and at performances. We are an ambitious bunch, and we have high hopes for the future.