Sing Viva – Derbyshire Carers Choir Appeals For Public Support

Sing Viva – Derbyshire Carers Choir Appeals For Public Support

A newly-formed choir made up of local people who are carers are vying for funding to secure its future and are asking the public for help.

Sing Viva  – Derbyshire Carers’ Choir has been set up by Derby-based Sinfonia Viva, the East Midlands’ only professional orchestra, as part of its 35th anniversary programme - enabling more people than ever to experience creative music making.

The choir was launched with a £13,000 grant from the Bupa UK Foundation’s Caring for Carers funding programme as part of its focus to help unpaid adult carers to support, manage and improve their own health.

 Sing Viva has already made a significant difference to people’s lives, offering participants a valuable creative output and an opportunity to socialise and make lasting relationships in a supportive environment. 

Having made their debut at the hugely popular Darley Park concert in September, Sing Viva is going from strength to strength, with each choir member experiencing the life changing feeling of singing live on stage as a respected performer. But Sing Viva needs further support to enable it to continue next year.

The choir has been nominated for funding from Aviva but the success of this campaign is dependent on your help via a public vote, which is online now at

Sing Viva is led by award-winning choral conductor David Lawrence and Stapleford-based music teacher and choir leader Caroline Swaby.

Sinfonia Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough explained: “There is a significant number of people locally who are carers for family members from children with special needs to elderly parents and many more who are furthermore juggling work and caring responsibilities.

“There is widespread recognition that, as well as practical support, carers can feel socially isolated.  They greatly benefit from the opportunity to take a well-deserved break and enjoy a group activity.

“Viva has a national reputation for our education and community work and Sing Viva – the Derbyshire Carers’ Choir is a natural progression for us as an Orchestra and meets the needs of an often hidden section of our local community.

“It is an opportunity to join like-minded people and enjoy the chance to try something new together in a relaxed and supportive environment. 

“Singing together is proven to be an excellent way of boosting self-esteem and confidence, releasing pain and stress-relieving endorphins and being a part of a team that is creating something.

 “New members are always welcome to join our monthly sessions at the Voicebox in Forman Street, Derby. People don’t need to have any previous choral experience and David and Caroline are fantastic at helping people to find their voice.

“We had a great reception at Darley Park and are keen to grow the choir and organise more performances net year so we hope that local people will really get behind us in the public vote for support from the Aviva Community Fund.

Among the choir members is Gill Fennell from Derby who works full time as well as being a carer for her 12-year-old son who has a rare genetic syndrome which means that he has learning disabilities similar to severe autism; as well as her mum who has dementia.

Gill said: “I was part of a choir when I was younger and loved singing but it has gone by the wayside over recent years.

“I was very keen to join Sing Viva as it was the perfect opportunity to take up singing again without too much commitment and have some positive ‘me’ time outside work and home.

“It is also good to meet other people who are caring for friends and family and face the similar challenges and pressures.”

For more information about Sing Viva, please contact Andrew Nesbitt at Sinfonia Viva, Tel: 01332 207602 or email

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