National Lottery Grant Success for London Stroke Choir

Jun 05 2018

National Lottery Grant Success for London Stroke Choir

National Lottery Grant Success for London Stroke Choir means it can carry on being a lifeline for Stroke Survivors

The Awards for All grant from the National Big Lottery came just in the nick of time so Disability Advice Service Lambeth (known as DASL) can support the London Stroke Choir for another year, offering a weekly choir at Morley College for people living in London who are recovering from a stroke or brain injury due to an accident.

After numerous unsuccessful grant applications, it looked like the London Stroke Choir would have to close its doors after 5 years of being supported by Disability Advice Service Lambeth. That was until the National Big Lottery Awards for All granted a year of funding to continue.

Disability Advice Service Lambeth (DASL) coordinates the choir, with in-kind donations from Morley College. DASL also continuously fundraises so the choir can offer weekly rehearsals and three public performances every year. Previous years have seen partnerships with Stroke Odysseys and the Victoria and Albert Musuem’s Hospital Passion Play. This year the choir is partnering with the British Heart Foundation.

The grant was awarded in May, which means the choir is fully funded for another year.

The choir meets every week at Morley College in SE1 to rehearse for three public performances during the year. The funding pays for the project coordinator and musical director, who are experienced in supporting people recovering from Stroke and Brain injury. Funding also pays for the performances and majority of the room hire.

The London Stroke Choir was formed as part of the Stroke Peer Support Network, which offered a wide range of support and activities for Stroke Survivors. After funding for the network ended in 2013, it was decided that because of the popularity of the choir, fundraising would focus on getting it up and running again, with Manuela Gouveia as Project Coordinator due to her years of experience and expertise in supporting Stroke Survivors.

The Choir is inclusive and for people of all singing abilities. Members derive many benefits including improved wellbeing, reduced anxiety and social opportunities. For those who have aphasia the vocal exercises help, strengthening voices and breathing control, and many are able to sing, even if they can’t speak.

“It has been inspiring to see members of all signing abilities working together, learning from each other and giving each other support.” – Manuela, Project Coordinator.

To donate to the London Stroke Choir, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/dasl/londonstrokechoir

For further information, contact the DASL office via