Online choir set up in Leeds during lockdown meets face to face for the first time and is recruiting new members

An online choir which was set up during lockdown came face to face this week for the first time.

By Emma Ryan
Sunday, 25th October 2020, 4:45 pm

The Space2Sing choir has been helping people to feel less isolated during the pandemic and is part of Live Well Leeds, a city wide service to help people’s mental health.

The choir currently meets every week online and hopes to organise some small face to face group sessions in the coming months, which online participants can also connect with, and is also on the look out for new members.

On Wednesdays they met at the Old Fire Station at Gipton and will continue to do so weekly from now onwards where people can join in person or via Zoom.

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Members of the Space2Sing Wellbeing Choir meet for the first time since March with Musical Director Jane Edwardson outside Space2 building behind the Old Fire Station, Gipton.

The group is run by arts and social change charity Space2 and choir leader, Jane Edwardson, is keen to stress that anyone can have a go.

She said: "Just coming along to sing every week with other people is a massive boost for people’s wellbeing and helps to make us feel more connected. We’re only a small group at the moment but there is such a good feeling and everyone is so enthusiastic.”

And many of the members have already seen a positive boost to their mental wellbeing through singing with the choir on Zoom during lockdown.

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Members of the Space2Sing Wellbeing Choir outside Space2 behind the Old Fire Station, Gipton.

Space2 was set up in 2003 to be an arts and social change organisation working in disadvantaged areas. It is one of 19 organisations that comes under the umbrella of Live Well Leeds, which was commissioned for five years by Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to work with adults from 18 onwards who have mild to moderate mental health support needs.

Ralph Berry, Deliver Network Partnership Manager for Live Well Leeds, added: "This is a particularly difficult and stressful time for lots of people. Live Well Leeds provides a really wide range of activities for people who might be struggling with their mental health, in partnership with charities like Space2. We're thrilled that the Space2Sing Choir has been available for people throughout lockdown and look forward to welcoming more service users."

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