Community News From Around Our Area

Midland Voices Daytime Choirs Raised Over £3,000 For Spencer’s Retreat

Continuing its fundraising for selected charities, Midland Voices daytime choirs run by Musical Director, Barry Todd, have raised £3,154 for Spencer’s Retreat, part of the Langdale Trust, at their recent Music of the Night concerts. This brings Midland Voices total charity fundraising to well over £75,000. The charity was chosen by the MD Barry Todd, as it is locally based (Spencer’s Lane, Berkswell) and receives no government funding.

Spencer’s Retreat was created by Simon Morris who now chairs the Langdale Trust Charity. It provides a fun, safe and understanding environment for children with special needs and their families to experience animals up close. Dave Warrender, a trustee of the charity, spoke of their work at the concerts and thanked Barry, the choir and the audience for their support.

At the cheque presentation Dave and Simon explained how the money might be used. “As a small family run charity, it’s so hard to gain funding. This money will make a massive difference in helping to put on events to support the children and families. Also, due to the bad weather throughout the winter we have limited events which has an impact financially on the charity.

“It costs around £100 a week to provide everything our animals need, so this money will help us keep going through the cold winter. It will also help set up our “Fellas On The Farm” project to support elderly people who are lonely. It will also help maintain our farm. Our future plans include improved drainage, access for wheelchairs and to increase the number of animals.”

Dave also explained that they are currently going through “change of use” planning application and the monies raised will also assist with this. He added if people are happy to support this application, they can leave comments on the Solihull Planning website: https://publicaccess.solihull.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=Q30JXKOELCW00&activeTab=summary

In closing Dave said, “The Balsall & Leamington Singers are amazing and we cannot thank them enough for raising this money.”

The two concerts had the same basic programme of popular songs such as Out Here On My Own/I Sing The Body Electric, California Dreaming, Music Of The Night, Goodbye to Love, A Whole New World,  together with solos and ensemble acts drawn from the two local daytime choirs. The choirs were well received by the audiences and everyone had a great time. Barry explained that the singers come from all walks of life and new singers are always welcome, there are no auditions, and it’s a lively fun atmosphere.

Rehearsals for both choirs resumed in January 2020, see their Midland Voices website  www.midlandvoices.org.uk/rehearsals.html and Facebook @BalsallSingers and @LeamingtonSingers for application forms and more details. Both choirs plan to put on charity concerts in November 2020.