Choir's outdoor concert raises £1,215

September 2021

Encore Vocal Choir put on a concert in Worthing in memory of one of their members to raise money to support local people with their mental health

A fundraising concert by Encore Vocal Choir has raised over a thousand pounds for West Sussex Mind. The open-air performance, which took place on September 4th at Denton Gardens in Worthing, was attended by around 300 people. The organisers kindly donated the proceeds – an amazing £1,215 – to West Sussex Mind, to help us continue our vital mental health work in the area.

Encore Vocal Choir was founded four years ago in Storrington by Elizabeth Ball and Kerri Chipper. They have since started separate choirs in Worthing and Felpham. All three groups came together for this fundraising event which saw almost 70 singers take to the stage. The audience was treated to songs from musicals such as The Greatest Showman and Les Misérables alongside pop hits from acts such as ABBA, Ricky Martin and Take That. The finale was a rendition of Ike & Tina Turner’s River Deep – Mountain High.

Though it was an upbeat performance, the event was held in memory of a choir member who had passed away during the pandemic. “That’s why we decided to raise money for Mind,” said Elizabeth. “She was a long-term sufferer of mental health issues, and took her own life, which is very sad.”

During the last year, the founders of Encore Vocal Choir have become aware of just how important the choir is to its members. “We managed to keep going during lockdown,” explained Elizabeth. “People came onto Zoom every week and did their classes with us. We’ve had people say to us: if it wasn’t for this choir I don’t really know where I’d be right now. We had one lady who we asked for a point of contact when she joined, but she didn’t have anyone. Now she’s got a circle of friends and they all go walking together, and they go out for dinner. Through the choir people are building confidence and looking after each other.”

Elizabeth also believes singing itself is great for mental health: “Singing is a big happy thing. I’ve used Mind in the past, about 15 years ago, I struggled. But singing is so good for your well-being, for everything, it really does help. We try to make the choir as fun as we can. We don’t audition. People can come along, have a good singsong, learn a few techniques, have great fun and meet friends. You don’t have to be a great singer, you just need enthusiasm. Just jump in and do it. Everyone’s so friendly. It’s definitely made a big difference to people’s lives.”

Encore Vocal Choir will be performing again at Christmas. There is also a new choir starting in Rustington. To get involved visit: