Stronger together, in song
The Military Wives Choirs received part of a grant awarded to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Here’s how they used it to help alleviate loneliness and isolation among the Armed Forces community during the COVID-19 pandemic …
The Military Wives Choirs used the grant to host a recruitment campaign, calling out to women across the Armed Forces community to join the Military Wives Choirs, both virtually and in person when possible.
As an incentive, the Military Wives Choirs held a virtual taster session, bringing together potential members for a preview of online music-making during COVID-19. The choirs are open to women from across the military community – not only wives – and the session introduced themes of music for well-being and mental health, some well-loved and new songs, and a chance to develop new skills and feel closer together through singing.
Anna Baines, military partner, says: ‘It was really moving to take part in the virtual sessions, watching women of all ages and backgrounds come together to sing and have a bit of fun.
‘After warming up and having a good sing we were put into virtual breakout rooms to introduce ourselves and have a chat. I have felt quite lonely and isolated at points during the pandemic and wanted to join the choirs for that reason. Hearing other women say the same thing in the breakout rooms really brought home that I am not alone in these feelings, and connecting together in the group is a great way to help. I’m really looking forward to joining my local choir in person when the pandemic allows.’
Maggie Pedder, Chair of Trustees and choir member, adds: ‘I would urge you to consider joining the Military Wives Choirs. We bring women from across the military community together to sing, share and support one another. Choir is a really important evening in my busy week, where I can set aside some time just for me and really feel part of a community. The pandemic has been a challenging time, but we have continued to feel stronger together.’
Find out more
The Military Wives Choirs is part of the SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity family. Send an email for further details and to sign up for an exciting virtual taster session.
The Military Wives Choirs
With 72 choirs and nearly 2,000 members in British military bases across the UK and overseas, the Military Wives Choirs is a charity that brings all women in the military community (not just wives) closer together, and empowers them through singing.
Families of Service personnel move around frequently and it can often be tough to put down roots or make new friends, particularly when loved ones are away for long periods of time. Research shows that singing in a choir can help to alleviate stress and contribute to an improvement in mental health. The Military Wives Choirs therefore have a vital role to play by bringing women in the military community together to sing.
The Military Wives Choirs is both an independent charity and subsidiary of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. SSAFA’s mission is to provide practical, emotional and financial support to our Forces and their families, and the Military Wives Choirs work collaboratively with SSAFA to support this mission.
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. In 2019, our teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 85,000 people in need, the currently serving (both regulars and reserves), veterans from the Second World War and those who have served in more recent conflicts, as well as their families. The SSAFA family includes the Military Wives Choirs, which is both an independent charity and a subsidiary of SSAFA, supporting women across the military community.
SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. And we are here for that person – any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need us.