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Posted by Sarah Brown on 21 Feb '17

How to have fun, improve your workplace and change lives

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When I was at Oxford as a student I had an experience that scarred me for life. I joined a choir, I love to sing, but like those auditions on ‘X factor’ that make you laugh, my singing was not in tune and gently the choir master asked me to leave.

It didn’t ruin my life but it did take some joy away and I still remember decades later, and I’ve never tried to join another choir, or enter X factor or the Voice.

I was prompted to think about this as I read a story about the Choir with No Name, a charity that has been set up so homeless people can sing. They don’t turn people away and the impact of coming together and sing and then eat a meal has changed lives. Their research shows that after joining the choir 60% began volunteering, got a job or found secure housing. Over a quarter had improved mental health and nearly everyone was more confident.

In the workplace singing has been shown to have a similar impact not only building team spirit but also keeping up morale, London Taxi Company, when threatened with closure started a choir to help maintain spirits. As Gareth Malone showed in his series about workplace choirs it also helps to bring different parts of a company together breaking down barriers and increasing collaboration.

It got me thinking maybe a great way for businesses and charities to work more closely would be to sing together and then eat together afterwards – a new twist on volunteering and CSR but what a way to build a strong bond. You can find out more about how we can help charities and businesses work together here

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The Choir with no Name