Local IT companies connect homeless choir members

IT Services and Solutions company CANCOM, and cross-sector partnership Digital Brighton and Hove have donated internet dongles, SIM cards and tablets to The Choir with No Name Brighton, which runs choirs for people who have experienced homelessness and marginalisation. This has enabled some of its most isolated members to connect to a virtual choir community set up during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Choir with No Name Brighton is run in partnership between the national Choir with No Name charity and BHT. It is a vital support network for some of the most isolated members of the community.

The Choir with No Name Brighton used to meet to sing every Monday at One Church in the city centre, with each rehearsal followed by a hot meal, cooked by a team of volunteers. As this cannot happen in the current climate, the team behind the choir have sought other ways of maintaining connection, which include the creation of a virtual choir where members can continue to sing together in a safe, non-judgmental space. The issue was that many of the more isolated members of the choir did not have access to the technology necessary to take part, but these donations have allowed them to get online and attend the weekly choir sessions virtually.

Martin Hess, Managing Director at CANCOM UK said:

Homelessness is a major problem all over the UK, and in particular on our doorstep in Brighton. We are delighted to help BHT, who do such a fantastic job. The Choir With No Name was such a creative idea at such a difficult time.

Asta Sabaliauskaite, Digital Inclusion Manager for the Choir With No Name Brighton said:

We are extremely grateful to CANCOM and Digital Brighton and Hove for their generous donation and for helping to get our members online during these challenging times. It breaks our hearts not being able to meet and see each other each week, and these donations for some of our members mean the world, as they will be able to re-join our choir family and stay connected with staff, volunteers and each other.

Choir with No Name Brighton member Aldo, who received a tablet, has since got online, and is now regularly joining virtual rehearsals, said:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who’s helped do this for me, it means so much – it means the world. Not many people would ever do anything like this for me. Thank you, and not just one thank you but millions and trillions of thank you’s.

If you would like to find out more about the Choir with No Name Brighton, please email Choir Manager Alex at alex.procter@bht.org.uk

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