Look Ahead and The Choir with No Name have launched a central London choir for homeless & marginalised people in the capital.
The Choir with No Name has been running choirs for people who’ve experienced homelessness in London for the past ten years.
They recently merged their two existing London choirs into a single ‘superchoir’ and moved to a new home at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church on Shaftesbury Avenue.
They rehearse weekly followed by a hot meal together, and perform at a wide variety of venues across the city throughout the year.
The partnership sees Look Ahead employing part-time Choir Manager, Ryan Burke, who brings years of experience running homeless accommodation services. As well as day to day management of the choir rehearsals, performances and volunteers, he will provide choir members with direct personal support, signposting and access to Look Ahead’s and other homelessness support services.
The Choir with No Name will continue to do what they do best – the music.
Talented choir director Sam Chaplin will lead the choir at rehearsals, gigs and outreach singing workshops, ensuring they reach their full musical potential.
The choir currently has over 80 members, who are offered the opportunity to make friends, grow in confidence and sing away their worries in a safe and non-judgmental environment, empowering them to flourish as individuals and get back on their feet.
It was back in 2008 that the first choir – in North London – was founded by Marie Benton, a professional musician and at the time also a senior project worker at homeless accommodation provider St Mungo’s. That first choir became a huge success, and since further choirs have been established in London, Liverpool and Birmingham with a new choir launching in Brighton in 2018.
“We have counted Look Ahead as a close ally in London over the years and we are delighted to now launch our London superchoir with them,” said Marie Benton. “The weekly service we provide for choir members will remain just as brilliant, but our members will now have easier access to a wider range of essential services.”
Anyone who is homeless or vulnerable is welcome to go to a rehearsal. They take place every Thursday at 6.30 pm with a free hot meal served afterwards at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8EP.