Jan 15, 2021

The musical volunteers bringing joy to Londoners in isolation

London is back in lockdown, and as anyone who has lived through harsh restrictions will tell you, it becomes more difficult the longer it goes on. However, the situation is made all the more difficult if people are living alone and in total isolation from all others. 

This is where Give a Song volunteers come in. The musical group travels around South London, knocking on doors to give doorstep performances, brightening the days of the people listening on. 

Mostly made up of musicians who have been out of work since the first lockdown back in March 2020, Give A song has performed to more than 2000 people and counting. Recipients of the private concerts can either request a performance themselves, or are nominated by friends and family who feel like they need a pick-me-up. 

Speaking to local news outlet My London, Give A Song founder Chloe Edwards-Wood said it has been incredible to see the change in people who receive the performances. 

“I’ve never seen so frankly the power of music. It’s really moving. Sometimes it can be overwhelming,” Chloe said. 

“[An] elderly lady [who] has dementia and was quite absent when we arrived but when we started to play it woke her up like a shock. It’s very emotional.

“There’s always need for music in the community. We want to change the role of a musician to reach people and connect people.”

Claudette and Reginald, an older couple in the area received a performance from Give a Song, brightening their day. Claudette, wife and carer to Reginald who is living with dementia, said that he put his arms around her and they began to dance while their private concert played on. 

“A tear came to his eye, he was elated,” she said. 

While the program is free for recipients and run by volunteers, they have since received enough donations that they are able to help support out of work musicians within their community. 

“It’s turned into a two sided thing now,” said Chloe. 

“We’ve raised money to pay musicians who have lost work and manage to give something back to the community.”

Give a Song has also put on performances at local food banks to bring cheer to the volunteers helping those who have fallen on hard times in the wake of ongoing coronavirus lockdowns. 

Performances, whether they be booked for themselves or requested for others in need, can be booked through their website, where you can also donate to their GoFundMe to help them keep the music playing. Find out more at https://www.giveasong.org.uk/ 

Image Source: Give a Song Facebook

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