I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in April 2018.
I proceeded to embark on a journey many of us have taken: a gruelling process of Chemotherapy, Surgery and Radiotherapy, a process which many survivors will identify with. A process to survive.
After all this the physical scars start to heal but the emotional and psychological effects linger.
I wanted to say thank you to the hospital and staff for my care at Weston Park Hospital. I joined the volunteer group at Weston Park Cancer Charity. I asked if there was a choir I could join. There were activities I could not do anymore, but perhaps I could still sing !!!!!
WPCC said "there isn't one", and I replied, much to my amazement, "Do you want one?"
Together with my two friends, Joanne Hockney and Elizabeth Clay, who I used to sing with and who were both looking for a choir to join, we set out to make it happen.
I walked into BBC Radio Sheffield to ask for a contact and the same at the offices of Sheffield Star newspaper. To our amazement, I was invited to be interviewed as part of World Music Day on BBC Radio Sheffield and the Sheffield Star produced two editorials promoting our new choir.
I contacted Sheffield University's Music Faculty and they advertised for a Musical Director and a pianist for us.
This was fast becoming a community project.
We were awarded a financial grant from Weston Park Cancer Charity office and became members of Voluntary Action Sheffield.
We launched the Choir on 11th September 2019 and the rest is history, or so they say.
The Choir has gone from strength to strength, providing a safe and secure environment where we are learning new skills, gaining confidence, supporting one another and spreading joy to others during our performances, as well as raising much needed funds to enhance cancer services and facilities in our local area.
The fun and laughter help us to cope on our own personal journeys.