Performing Arts learners sing for a good cause

A choir set up specifically for carers in Bridgend County Borough has marked Carers Week (10 – 16 June) by releasing its first original song!

The ‘Off Duty’ choir was formed in January to give local carers some ‘me time’ and a chance to socialise with fellow carers. Less than six months later, they’ve recorded their debut single ‘Strong’, with help from musical director and song writer Izzy Thomas, music producer Phil Curran and students from Bridgend College’s Performing Arts Department.

The choir’s Musical Director, Izzy Thomas, asked choir members of ‘Off Duty’ to write down their thoughts and experiences of being a carer, and transformed their words and ideas into an original song. Within a month, the choir had learned the song and recorded the vocals at Bridgend College.

To accompany the song the choir have also filmed a World War Two themed music video at Kenfig Nature Reserve.

Describing her own experience as a carer, one of the choir members, Jacky, said:

“I wrote the first line of the song ‘How did we get here, this was never our plan’. The plan for my husband and I was to have a happy retirement at the end of our hardworking lives, but it’s not to be, so all that I can say to everybody else is don’t wait for tomorrow, ever.”

The main aim is to raise awareness of the importance of carers in our society and along with that, to raise much needed funds to support the great work Carers UK do as the UK’s only national membership charity for carers.

The project has brought together so many people and organisations to work together to support the efforts of ‘Off Duty’, including Bridgend College, Bridgend County Borough Council, Awen Cultural Trust, Bridgend Carers Centre, Evergreen Hall, Bridgend Town Council, Porthcawl Museum, Military Vehicle Trust, Kenfig Nature Reserve and Mr. Phil Curran.

The song is available for download at www.strongsong.co.uk and proceeds raised will be donated to the Carers UK charity.

The Off Duty choir is open to all carers, and no singing experience is necessary. The choir rehearse every Monday from 11am – 12:30pm in the Evergreen Hall on Angel Street, Bridgend.

Information about support for carers can be found at the carers website, www.carers.org.