Life may have stopped for many under the lockdown, but one Salford choir has taken its sessions online.
Salford City Singers normally meet up every Thursday at half six in the evening, but since the coronavirus lockdown their members have continued sessions over video platform, Zoom.
The well-being choir of nine say they are continuing the sessions to keep people connected and lift spirits.
Group Chair, Estelle Silverberg said: “Keeping the choir going online is giving peoples’ lives some normality at the moment.
“One of the elderly ladies who normally comes to the sessions lives on her own and it’s hard for people like her.
“It’s so important to keep in touch with each other.”
The sessions are normally £4 a week, but the group says they are not charging people for the online sessions.
Their tutor, Emma Wheeler, sends every member a link to join the video session and practice together, whilst a backing track is played through to them.
Members insist that being able to reconnect with their friends, one of which is tuning in from Spain, has brought home the importance of the social aspect of the sessions.
“It’s like a life-line for me and for many months the choir had been one of the only opportunities for me to get out and see people”, said 64-year-old Erica Wakeman.
Erica has been attending the choir since it began ten years ago and says it has changed her life.
She said: “It took a while but I started to gain a lot of confidence and I don’t get so anxious anymore.
“Every time I go, I come out feeling amazing.
“I might be 64 but I find Zoom fairly straight-forward to use.
“It’s so important that they’re keeping the sessions going and even the night before I’ll be getting excited to join in and see everyone again.”
The group has been singing along to an array of songs such as ‘Brown-eyed Girl’, ‘Dirty Old Town’ and ‘Living on a Prayer’ to keep each other going.
Erica, who cannot risk leaving the house due to underlying health conditions, reinforces the importance of keeping occupied and connected under the lock-down.
She added: “I would urge anyone who loves singing to join the choir.
“It doesn’t matter whether you think you’ve got a good voice or not.
“You join in for the love of singing and being together as a group.”