Choir hits the right note ahead of International Women’s Day

8 February 2017

International Women’s Day (IWD) Derby has received a grant from the University of Derby Community Fund to aid the Normanton Women’s Choir project ahead of the (IWD) festival.

The choir aims to bring women from all ages, backgrounds, disabilities and multicultural communities across Derbyshire together to create an environment of friendship, wellbeing and sisterhood.

The £1,200 grant given by the University has helped fund the hiring of choir tutors as part of the project.

Woman sing global songs

The Community Fund is one way the University gives back to local people. Over the past two years the University has given £20,000 in grants to inspire projects that seek to benefit the community in some way. In previous years the fund has supported various projects including sports clubs, youth groups and small charities.

Vanessa Boon, Chair of International Women’s Day Derby, said: "We are delighted to receive support from the University of Derby’s Community Fund to develop our Normanton Women's Choir. Singing in groups has been shown to yield physical and mental health benefits and to boost self-esteem, reduce isolation and build a sense of community.

“Some of the women have no singing experience or have not sang since their schooldays, while others have enjoyed being in a choir before. Together they will be taking on the empowering goal to sing in public at our International Women's Day Festival.”

Rosie Marshalsay, Head of External Relations at the University of Derby, added: “International Women’s Day Derby is an example of an organisation that is forming a bond with all members of our community to support a vital cause and we applaud this. We’re proud to be able to fund a project that helps empower local women, builds their confidence and creates new friendships.”

The choir is still open for new members to join and get involved in. Rehearsals take place on Monday afternoons 12.30-2.30pm at the Mandela Community Centre, DE23 8NQ.

This year’s IWD Festival, held at Market Place Marquee in Derby on March 11, is called ‘Celebrate our HERstory – women making waves’. Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor at the University, will be speaking at the event.

The University of Derby Community Fund has also supported projects in Buxton and Chesterfield in this round of applications.

Local projects across the region can apply to the Community Fund for the next round of funding.