Barbara’s Choir

15 November 2022

We often sing the praises of People ConneX, but recently we did so quite literally when we joined Barbara’s Choir as they rehearsed for their Christmas concerts.

Stretch and sing

Barbara Sved, an alto with 25 years of singing expertise, led People ConneX members for an uplifting choir practice at Northwood Methodist Church. Her reassuring approach encouraged choristers to sing Christmas favourites with joy and enthusiasm.

We began the session with a vocal warm-up and some gentle stretching. One might expect to feel self-conscious “ooo-eee-aaa-ing” in front of others, but the Oasis Coffee Shop at the church was a safe space where people could sing to their heart’s content.

Not just jingle bells

Barbara has used her skills to inspire people to celebrate their voice from the time our organisation was known as Harrow Mencap, then through the lockdown, and now again with in-person gatherings.

A polished performance of the Westminster Abbey variety is not what the choir is aiming for. One of the reasons why people have joined the choir is because, quite simply, singing makes them feel good.

Bring me sunshine

Barbara’s advice “sing what you can” enables people to relax, joke and share experiences that are not always related to singing or performing. For some, joining the choir is about getting out and socialising. For others, there is banter to be enjoyed: how does Santa know if you’ve been naughty or good? For Richard, there is the freedom to declare: “I love you, Barbara! You’re fantastic!”

We would encourage all to attend the People ConneX Christmas shows. You can find details below.


Support Community ConneX

Your donation could bring someone out of social isolation, help support autistic people, people with a learning disability, and their families. We also use your donations to provide disadvantaged children and young person with opportunities to develop themselves and grow.

Please click here to donate