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Sing Out Bristol gets £500 boost from bus company First

A choir which is currently fund-raising to take its members to a pan-European choral festival in Ireland has received a welcome boost to its coffers thanks to local bus company First in West of England.

The company has donated £500 through its charity and sponsorship committee towards the Sing Out Bristol choirs fundraising totals, taking them a step closer to being able to attend the Various Voices event which is taking place in Dublin between the 13 and 16 June 2014.

There are about 100 people in the Sing Out Bristol choir, a group which is run by and aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who enjoy singing. Attending the Various Voices event in Ireland is a significant opportunity for them, but with the cost of going being round £340 per person (once registration, travel and accommodation fees are accounted for) going to the event is not cheap. So to ensure that no one is barred from attending on the basis of money, or the lack of it, the group is currently fund-raising around it.

Bus worker and Sing Out Bristol choir member Nicky Williams explains: “I have been a member of the Sing Out Bristol choir for about nine months and I find it incredibly rewarding. If offers me a break and some much needed relaxation from my day job working as a staff manager for First West of England in the Hengrove depot. The choir has an impact beyond individuals like me though, as we also help other people too. We regularly hold concerts, with the money raised from these being donated to other organisations, for instance drug and alcohol abuse organisations, mental health charities and those groups supporting victims of homophobic violence.

“We really want all of our members to be able to go to the event in Ireland. It will be good for them and for the choir as a whole, making us even stronger moving forward.

“We are thrilled that First has been able to donate £500 towards our fund-raising totals – it’s very much appreciated and has put us well on the road towards our totals, but there is a significant way to go yet though. We do hope we raise the money though as the proven benefits of singing are well documented. Its good for the soul, helps boost self esteem and confidence and the support members get from being involved in a choir like this are immense.”

Paul Matthews, Managing Director of First in West of England, adds: “It is great to be able to support a community choir in this way, helping them develop and support their members. We hope the £500 we have donated will go some way to helping them ensure that all their members are able to attend the event in Ireland.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Sing Out Bristol choir can log onto www.singoutbristol.com. The choir meets on Tuesday evenings in central Bristol.