Help needed to save choir

Help: Jane Swarbrick with volunteer helpers Ron Barker, Beryl Evans and Louise Swindlehurst
Help: Jane Swarbrick with volunteer helpers Ron Barker, Beryl Evans and Louise Swindlehurst
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A community choir is appealing for help after its funding ran out.

The Skylarks, which was set up last year, has already organised a concert to boost funds.

But its leader, Jane Swarbrick, hopes that Chorley businesses and individuals might also offer support.

Jane, a former music teacher who also runs three similar choirs in Lancashire, said: “We had some funding from Lancashire County Council, but now that it has run out we have to charge people £3 to come along.

“It would be great to have a little support from local businesses if they feel they could help.”

The choir is open to everyone, but Jane said that some of those who benefit suffer from dementia or other health problems or are simply lonely.

She said: “I’m passionate about the fact that the choir is all inclusive; it’s for everyone whether they have experience of singing or not.

“Most people who come along are very reluctant at first and tell me they can’t sing and have just come to see what’s going on.

“But I think everyone has a voice.

“We have a huge age range. One mum brings her toddler with her and we have people who are in their eighties, teenagers and others in their 30s.

“The aim is to sing for enjoyment and pleasure but the sound we’ve got is really special and I think we do compare with other choirs because of the passion and the enjoyment: that’s our focus.”

Jane, who is also Singing for the Brain leader with the Alzheimer’s Society, runs other Skylark choirs in Preston and Lostock Hall.

The Chorley choir, which has 30 regular members, meets at 10.30am each Thursday in a hired room next to Cafe Ambio in Astley Park, and this is where most of the costs are incurred.

Jane said: “Although we only practise for an hour, we have to set up and then people often stay for a little while afterwards so we pay £40 to hire the room.

“We’ve had one donation from Audi in Preston, but it would be great if other people could help.”

You can also help by attending the concert, which will feature all three choirs, at The Academy@Worden, Leyland, at 7pm on December 12. If you can provide any support for the Skylarks contact Jane on 07538 580296.