A choir comprising people facing physical and mental challenges will open CRE Midlands 2020 (4/5 Mar 2020).
Created by well-known singer Sandra Godley, Gospability sang at Windsor before Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle last year. Sandra was inspired by Prince Harry’s Heads Together campaign which is supported by the Royal Foundation and is a partnership of charities providing frontline mental health support.
More than half the choir come from the Midlands and is made up of depression survivors, ex-Army wounded, breast cancer battlers as well as singers with bi-polar and clinical anxiety. Choir member Julie Hill, 45, works in customer service and has suffered an illness causing chronic back, neck and jaw pain since her 20s.
’It is a privilege to sing with such brave and inspirational people,’ she said. ‘I have been singing all my life. Music keeps me sane. My confidence has grown and the fresh perspective makes me feel like a new person. My pains are still a challenge but now I have more energy and zest to deal with it better – and new friends to help me.’
Another member who has been given a new lease of life is 35-year-old Coventry factory worker Tyrone, who suffers from anxiety.
‘Gospability has given me a sense of meaning, a sense of hope and loving care,’ he said. ‘I’m so happy I went along and I’m so happy I didn’t give up on life. I’ve been given this energy to do things out my comfort zone and to help others. I was able to share my story with complete strangers who I now consider to be brothers and sisters.’