I love singing together with other people and over the years I've sung in numerous choirs, led singing groups in communities and offices and championed the power of singing together for everyone. When I heard about the Choir With No Name, I knew immediately the impact it would have by giving people the opportunity to sing together. I've been a fan ever since.
As a music psychologist, I could bore you silly with the academic literature behind the psychology of singing, but suffice to say, there is a myriad of ways in which it is beneficial. Whether it's the sense of belonging and one-ness gained through singing with a community of friends, the endorphins released which help with mental health, or the pride and sense of achievement gained through performing to an enrapt audience, for those who often feel alone or in the shadows, singing together reaches parts other activities can't.
I have worked at a wide range of charities throughout my career including Depaul UK, The Children's Society, St John Ambulance and Home-Start. In the other half of my life, I am doing a PhD in music psychology at the University of Sheffield, exploring the role of music listening in the lives of young people living in temporary accommodation. I am a keen singer myself, singing regularly in the Abbeydale Singers, and live in Sheffield with my partner Jo, and two RSPCA rescue cats, Socks and Smudge.