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Lockdown choir that aims to ‘raise you up’

A virtual choir from Bath and North East Somerset run by SWALLOW, a local charity that receives funding from ourselves at Virgin Care, aims to “raise you up” in a special socially-distanced video of the well-known song.

The community-based charity came up with the idea for the choir – which includes teenagers and adults with a learning disability, staff and volunteers – four years ago.

And while they usually meet on a weekly basis to practice, they have now switched to a ‘virtual choir’ for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic with members performing from their own homes.

SWALLOW – who receive a Community Support Grant from ourselves at Virgin Care – responds to the needs of individuals by providing flexible support to its members and aims to enable teenagers and adults with learning disabilities to live as independently as they wish.

These services are influenced by what the members want to achieve, whether it be learning the skills required to live independently or training for employment.

We at Virgin Care run local adult social care and learning disability services in Bath and North East Somerset and is responsible for grants to community organisations, which help develop schemes like this.

In addition, our social care team refers people they support to the SWALLOW charity.

Bev Craney, chief executive officer of SWALLOW, said: “I’m so proud of the members of the SWALLOW Choir for working so hard to produce this performance. SWALLOW is an incredible charity that aims to help as many people as it can in unique and different ways.”

Samantha Bryant, a social worker at Virgin Care, added: “The virtual choir is a great idea and I know it will mean an enormous amount to all those taking part during lockdown.”

Individuals can make a self-referral to the choir, or they can be referred by the social work team by calling 01761 414034 or emailing JustinRicards@swallowcharity.org.

The choir are meeting virtually weekly and will release another song very soon. You can download it from the link on this press release or watch it on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08W4RKMUZ6A

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