Singing visits help keep up sprits during pandemic

By Lizzie May

A Lewisham singing telegram project is taking live music to the doorsteps of those who need it most.

Give A Song is a community project that takes its 20-strong team of local musicians to families shielding, or those who have lost their livelihoods or loved ones to provide a pick-me-up in the form of music.

A typical doorstep visit from the organisation will consist of two to four musicians, going to an address of a person referred to the team, where they perform a few songs with live vocals and instruments.

Founder Chloe Edwards-Wood, 28, teamed up with Goldsmiths Community Centre with the idea to do something of value for the people of Lewisham.

Miss Edwards-Wood also plays the saxophone and sings on the visits. She said: “The response has been really amazing. Some have been quite overwhelmed and emotional during some really powerful moments.

“I feel like music brings people together in some way, it’s a way of communicating and that’s been really prevalent.

“If you don’t have a common ground to have a conversation with someone, there’s always a song that can do it for you.”

Visits are organised through an online referral form and the project recently began performing to larger audiences, giving songs to the guests of Whitefoot and Downham Community Food + Project, which has seen their number of guests triple over the past few weeks.

Volunteers expressed how impactful Give a Song has been to the guests, telling Miss Edwards-Wood how the food bank can sometimes be the only point in the week when they put something nice on and socialise.

She continued: “I was told that these are people who may feel a bit rejected from society, believing that no one cares about them and just to have someone there, singing songs for them can make them feel validated.

When asked how he was, one guest said: “All the better for the music.”

Pictured top: From left, Give a Song team Andy Ruddy, 31, Sulaiman Meer, 23, and Chloe Edwards-Wood, 28



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