Each term our choir, as a community, supports a charity that is close to our members’ hearts. We do this in a variety of ways, depending on the charity and our membership during the term. One of the ways our choir supports these charities is to have a fundraising collection at the end of each end of term concert. If you’d like to support the work of any of these charities, please do click on their website links below to find out how best to do this.
Charities are selected on a first come, first served basis from a list of nominations. Current choir members should email us to ask to have their chosen charity added to the list.
Autumn 2017 | Bloodwise – bloodwise.org.uk/
Our in-house fundraising this term included a huge bake sale, a raffle with 40+ items donated by choir members, and a collection of “old” round £1 coins as the final date for their status as legal tender fell within the term. Choir members raised £1,158.33. The local branch of Bloodwise came along to our end-of-term concert and had a bucket collection at the end, which raised just under £1500 (plus a couple of Euros and Australian cents!), bringing the term’s total to £2658.33 – an amazing amount! Thank you so much to everyone who donated.
Blood cancer is the third biggest cancer killer and it’s growing – it takes more lives every year than prostate or breast cancer. Blood cancer doesn’t discriminate – it can affect people of any age, gender or race and is the most common cancer in children and young adults. Bloodwise is the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity and they have invested over £500 million into research since 1960. They fund world-leading research and offer expert information and support to anyone affected by one of the 137 different types of blood cancer. They fund pioneering research taking place right on our doorstep in Edinburgh. They fund the research that benefits patients most and have made great progress with many major cancer medicine advances coming first from blood cancer research. Their mission is to stop people dying from blood cancer, to make patients’ lives better, and to look for ways to stop blood cancer happening in the first place.
Summer 2017 | Love Music Junior Choir – juniorchoir.lovemusic.org.uk/
Our summer fundraising focused on raising funds for our brand new Junior Choir, for up to 200 8-12 year olds from all across Edinburgh. The choir aims to be very inclusive and we aim to be able to offer up to half of the memberships free to families who can’t afford to pay to take part. Various activities were held through the term and on concert night, including a ceilidh and raffle. Most memorably, there was a marvellous effort from our director Stephen who had a very striking Mohican cut in just before the start of the concert, to tie in with our Punkit performance! Overall we raised an incredible £6865.09.
Spring 2017 | Music in Hospitals Scotland – www.musicinhospitalsscotland.org.uk
Music in Hospitals Scotland is an Edinburgh-based charity which arranges live musical performances in care units across Scotland. Around 70 line-ups of professional musicians give on average 1700 concerts each year in hospitals, care homes, day centres, additional support schools, hospices and sheltered housing schemes, reaching people of all ages from babies to centenarians. The musicians are selected through a rigorous audition process to ensure that they are not only highly talented musically but also have outstanding communication skills and a flexible approach. Concerts can be arranged with specific styles of music or celebrations in mind, and give service users and staff the opportunity to enjoy a social occasion together, in addition to experiencing the well-documented therapuetic benefits live music can have, particularly for people in care.
We didn’t have an end-of-term concert in the Spring term but an online donation page was shared amongst choir friends and fans, and a raffle was arranged at a rehearsal, and a total of £956 was raised (plus £57.50 in Gift Aid). MiHS also sold their canvas tote bags at a rehearsal and took in over £145. These funds will be used to support a number of regular concerts at a mental health care unit in Edinburgh.
Autumn 2016 | Edinburgh Direct Aid – www.edinburghdirectaid.org
This term brought yet more astonishing generosity from our choir members and wider community of friends, colleagues, family and fans. During term, the singer who nominated EDA collected a substantial amount of toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, pencils, pens, crayons, erasers and more, to be delivered to EDA’s warehouse. Several of our singers this term took part in The Suppliant Women at The Lyceum (singing as the Wise Women of Argos) and secured two pairs of tickets for the play which were raffled off at choir during term, raising £140.54. At our end of term concert, cash donations reached £2032.97, with £250 coming from choir members and the remainder from our audience. Huge thanks to everyone who contributed!
Edinburgh Direct Aid is an all-volunteer charity that helps people caught up in disasters worldwide. Starting with aid convoys to Bosnia during the war in 1992-1995, EDA has since worked in Kashmir, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Gaza and the West Bank. EDA’s main efforts at present are directed to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, providing not only aid goods donated in Scotland and beyond, but also helping them to build a more normal life by providing school buildings, materials and vocational training for young adults in the refugee camps at Arsal, a town 20 km from the Syrian border which is home to 70,000 Syrians.
Summer 2016 | Health in Mind – www.health-in-mind.org.uk
A huge amount was raised for Health in Mind during our Summer 2016 term. Choir members raised £127.24 in an honesty raffle for 3 sets of concert tickets donated by two fellow singers, and more donations were given by the choir on the night of our end-of-term concert. The combined donations from the choir and our concert audience amounted to £1537! But 6 fearless members of our choir – 5 singers and our pianist Dave – went well beyond and raised a further £2070.38 by taking part in a charity abseil from the Forth Rail Bridge the day before our concert! So our overall total raised for Health in Mind is £3607.38 and more sponsorship donations are still trickling in. We are exceptionally proud of the generous nature of our community – both people within the choir and all their friends and families who donated and helped spread the word.
Health in Mind is a Scottish mental health and wellbeing charity based in Edinburgh. They provide a unique mixture of services, from information, training, counselling and cognitive behavioural therapies, through to befriending and trauma support. Their work focuses on some of the most excluded and vulnerable people in our society, including people from ethnic minority communities, older people, survivors of abuse and those at risk of homelessness.
One of Health in Mind’s services in Edinburgh is ‘Community Connecting’ which supports people over the age of 65 who are feeling lonely and isolated by matching them with a volunteer. They help them to rebuild their confidence and connections with their local community, develop friendships and rediscover who they are. To find out more about this service please see their video below.
Spring 2016 | Mercy Corps – www.mercycorps.org.uk
£1859.90 was raised for Mercy Corps during our Spring 2016 term, with £225 being donated by choir members during the term and the remainder donated by the audience at our end-of-term concert.
Mercy Corps is a 4,000-strong global organisation powered by the belief that a better world is possible. It helps people survive and get back on their feet when natural disaster strikes, economies collapse or conflict erupts, and where there are chronic threats to peace and progress it partners with communities to overcome obstacles and help them thrive.
Mercy Corps workers live and work in more than 40 countries facing the world’s toughest challenges, working without political or religious agendas. For more than 3 decades, they have worked for and alongside more than 170 million individuals, being guided by them to ensure their specific needs are met, empowering people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities.
Autumn 2015 | Action on Depression – www.actionondepression.org
£982.44 was raised for Action on Depression in a bucket collection at the end of our Autumn 2015 concert
Action on Depression is the only national Scottish organisation working with and for people affected by depression. It is a user-influenced organisation committed to providing support, raising awareness of depression and treatment options and reducing the stigma surrounding the condition. Services include community based and online self-help support groups, “Living Life to the Full” courses based on cognitive behavioural therapy, phone and email helplines and online information. Action on Depression won a Sheila McKechnie Foundation Social Inclusion Award in 2010 for its “Look OK… Feel Crap?” campaign aimed at supporting young adults with depression.
[From the World Health Organisation film posted on YouTube of “I had a black dog, his name was depression”:] “Millions of people around the world live with depression, which can be a frightening, debilitating condition. Many of these individuals and their families are afraid to talk about their struggles, and don’t know where to turn for help… Recognizing depression and seeking help is the first and most critical [step] towards recovery. In collaboration with World Health Organization to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the “black dog of depression” [with this film].”
Summer 2015 | Homeless World Cup – www.homelessworldcup.org
£1,011.70 was raised for The Homeless World Cup in a bucket collection at the end of our Summer 2015 concert.
The Homeless World Cup uses the power of football to energise homeless people all over the world so that they can change their own lives. By taking part in football training sessions and competitions, the players become teammates and take on social responsibility, building relationships and gaining a sense of belonging and inclusion. The annual Homeless World Cup Tournament gives players the chance to represent their country, celebrates the year-round work of the organisation, and helps to change attitudes towards homelessness.
The Homeless World Cup operates via a network of 74 national partners who support football-based programmes and sustainable social enterprise development. The national partners provide, or provide access to, the professional services homeless people may need, for example education, employment, healthcare or legal advice. Money raised from the collection at our end of term concert will go straight to the Homeless World Cup Foundation in Edinburgh, which co-ordinates the work of the national partners and distributes funds to grassroots projects all over the world.
Spring 2015 | Scottish Love in Action – www.sla-india.org
We raised £1,432.80 for Scottish Love in Action in a collection at the end of our spring 2015 concert.
Scottish Love in Action (SLA) is a charity based in Scotland that cares for and supports vulnerable and destitute children in India. It feeds, clothes, houses, educates and provides medical care for over 500 children. It does this by funding a Home and School in Tuni. The children come at any age, some as young as infants and are supported through to independence. The project is in the State of Andhra Pradesh, SE India and is run by a grassroots, non-governmental organisation partner.
SLA aims to help children to break out of the cycle of poverty, funding care for children who are taken into the Light of Love Home on the basis of need, irrespective of caste, religion, or any other consideration. Its goal is to give each of these children an education so that they have the necessary tools to achieve their full potential, to escape the poverty trap and have a choice in the future they build for themselves.
Autumn 2014 | Kindred – www.kindred-scotland.org
We raised a total of £1,551.32 for Kindred during our Autumn Term, £898.29 in donations at our end of term concert and £653.03 in fundraising through the choir.
Kindred supports families of children and young people with additional needs by providing advocacy, information and emotional support. This film explains how Kindred has helped one family, from a parent’s perspective.
Kindred was set up over 20 years ago by parents who realised the crucial importance of access to correct information, the benefits that advocacy can bring, and the comfort of a listening ear. At that time it was known as Special Needs Information Point (SNIP). The organisation began from a small room in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. Kindred still has a base at the Sick Kids in Edinburgh as well as another base in the West End of Edinburgh and one in Rosyth in Fife. The organisation works throughout Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife and is currently beginning to work in the Greater Glasgow area.
Summer 2014 | Target Ovarian Cancer – www.targetovariancancer.org.uk
We raised £780 (+£195 in Gift Aid) for Target Ovarian Cancer in a collection at the end of our summer 2014 concert and during the summer term.
Target Ovarian Cancer is the national ovarian cancer charity working to save lives and help women diagnosed live their lives to the full, wherever they are in the UK.
Each year, 7,000 women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the UK, and 4,300 lose their lives too soon. The UK has amongst the lowest ovarian cancer survival rates in Europe. Target Ovarian Cancer wants to change this by:
- Improving early diagnosis, both with women and GPs, across the UK;
- Finding new treatments through directly funding a UK-wide research programme;
- Providing support for women via events, publications and information.
Spring 2014 | Barnado’s – www.barnardos.org.uk
We raised £1,239.90 for Barnado’s in a collection at the end of our spring 2014 concert.
Barnardo’s believes in children regardless of their circumstances, gender, race, disability or behaviour. Its purpose as a charity today is to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children. It believes in the abused, the most vulnerable, the forgotten and the neglected. It will support them, stand up for them and bring out the best in each and every child because it believes that every child deserves the best start in life and the chance to fulfill their potential.
Using knowledge gained from its direct work with children it campaigns for better childcare policy and champions the rights of every child. With the right help, committed support and a little belief, even the most vulnerable children can turn their lives around.