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‘Good for the soul’: Singers set sights on saving their community choir

PUBLISHED: 16:16 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:16 18 March 2020

The choir meets at Homerton Library every Saturday morning during term time.  Picture: Hackney One Voice

The choir meets at Homerton Library every Saturday morning during term time. Picture: Hackney One Voice

Hackney One Voice

Members of an Intergenerational choir are determined to keep it running despite council funding coming to an end.

The Hackney One Voice Choir. Picture: Hackney One VoiceThe Hackney One Voice Choir. Picture: Hackney One Voice

Hackney One Voice performed at the Round Chapel in lower Clapton for International Women’s Day on Sunday March 8 and have also performed at local nursing homes and Chatsworth Road Market.

Choir Organiser Leila Zebiri says the choir, which is free to join, is a ‘real asset’ to the community. They meet at Homerton Library every Saturday morning during term time.

She told the Gazette: “The vision for Hackney One Voice was to create an activity that anyone can join in with irrespective of age, gender, race, religion, income, ability or disability. It’s aim is to prevent social isolation and promote physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.”

The ‘incredibly popular’ community choir has been running for a year funded by Hackney Council’s small grants and National Lottery Awards For All but the funding ends in March.

A lack of funding threatens the intergenerational choir who recently performed at the Round Chapel. Picture: Hackney One VoiceA lack of funding threatens the intergenerational choir who recently performed at the Round Chapel. Picture: Hackney One Voice

Members hope to keep the choir going whilst they apply for alternative funding and welcome donations to their cause. They also plan to organise a fund raising event.

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“[The choir] brings people into the library and gets them joining up. We have members that are babies, children and adults of all ages. We have many single mothers attending who would otherwise find it hard to do such an activity due to child care needs and costs.”

Leila created the choir through a not for profit organisation she worked for called Drumunity. She had trouble finding one open to adults and kids so she started Hackney One Voice.

The choir is open to all and brings people from all walks of life together to sing. Picture: Hackney One VoiceThe choir is open to all and brings people from all walks of life together to sing. Picture: Hackney One Voice

“Its now a very important part of My daughter Myla’s life. She helps me buy the food and set up [and] she looks forward to it every week!” said Leila.

Donna Lyons attends the choir with her 5 year old grandson. She said: “I enjoy the choir as its good for your soul, the songs are upbeat and the group is warm and welcoming. Its a great community project where families and children come together”

Hackney One Voice’s next performance will be on Mothers Day, Sunday March 22 at 1pm in at the Narrow Way (Mare Street) opposite Primark in Hackney Central.

To donate to the choir click here https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/my/profile

To find out more about Hackney One Voice click here https://www.facebook.com/Hackney-One-Voice-309224233091400/


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