Stirling wellbeing choir hits the high notes with Cairn funding



A singing group that exists to bring together communities in Stirling with a focus on overall wellbeing has landed funding towards a much-needed electric piano.

Stirling Wellbeing Choir, which runs from Allan Park South Church, has received £500 from the Cairn Community Fund, helping it to secure the new instrument, guaranteeing live backing music for years to come.

Covering a huge range of pop, Scottish traditional and contemporary Christian songs, it has become a positive force for members, helping to alleviate loneliness, build lasting friendships and combat a range of anxieties and depressions.

The group, which has members from 17 to 92, with every generation in-between, was founded three years ago and is run by volunteers – and is led by local choir leader and music teacher Amy Turtle.

It is the latest beneficiary of the fund, operated by Cairn Housing Association, which since 2013 has committed more than £60,000 to good causes in its communities throughout Scotland.

Sally Forshaw, of Allan Park South Church, said: “Singing together is a proven anti-depressant. It raises endorphins and helps forge incredible bonds.

“We’ve started to grow really quickly, getting up to 40 people to our practices as word has spread of just how friendly and welcoming everyone is.

“To get the funding towards the electric piano is so hugely appreciated. We try to keep any member fees to minimal amounts to cover costs, but getting a suitable instrument, replacing the old one that no longer fits the bill, could have posed a problem.

“This funding meant we could easily raise the rest ourselves at a recent musical bingo night – and can guarantee the music, singing and happiness will continue for years to come.”

Jason MacGilp, chief executive of Cairn Housing Association, said: “The Stirling Wellbeing Choir is such a positive local initiative, doing inspiring work that has such a positive impact.

“We’re delighted to be able to support this group and help it to flourish as part of our community fund.

“If this, in turn, inspires you, and you work with or know of an organisation you feel fits the bill, I would urge you to get in touch with us as we’re always proud to play our part, where we feasibly can.”

In order to be eligible for funding, projects must enhance the quality of life in areas where Cairn tenants live.

This can be through environmental benefits or by encouraging community cohesion to help improve the lives of local people.

Other projects to have benefitted from the funding include an art project to create memory books at a retirement housing project as well as a photography project in Stirling to capture places of local interest.

Since its inception, the Cairn Community Fund has helped to fund projects across Scotland.

Grants of up to £1000 are available and can be spent on a number of things including the buying or hiring of equipment, training courses and paying for venues or catering at community events.

To apply, you need to present a detailed plan for your project and complete an application form.

Interested parties can complete an application form here.

The choir takes place in Allan Park South Church on a Tuesday term time from 7.30-9pm. For more information contact Sally Forshaw: sally.apschurch@gmail.com.

Cairn Housing Association has more than 30 years’ experience of creating quality, affordable housing with a property portfolio of 3200 houses across 24 local authority areas.

It works closely in partnership with other housing associations to provide high-quality affordable homes across Scotland.



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