Last week I had the pleasure of recording a podcast for @HelpSheffield. For those of you that don’t venture into the busy Sheffield Twittersphere, @HelpSheffield is a fantastically useful source of knowledge about what’s going on in the Steel City. Set up in 2013, the @HelpSheffield account has long been my ‘go to’ for community news or for finding out about new initiatives. And as a community initiative it’s about as genuine as they come, run without pay or reward by a dedicated, but anonymous small band of elves!

Trying to squeeze everything I’m involved with into 21 minutes was no easy task. It’s fair to say that I wear many different hats, and that tends to be just the way I like it these days. Not only do I like the flexibility that having all the different hats brings (have I overused the hat metaphor here?!) but I can easily see the connections between the various activities I’m involved in.

Much of what I do is about bringing people together. In my role in the Community Team at the Co-op, I’m supporting my colleagues to connect with some of the many amazing local groups and charities working in Sheffield. With Singing In… it’s about bringing communities together to sing and make some wonderful music. But it’s always about how much more we can achieve when we come together to work as a group.

It was good to be able to plug my volunteer work for the Shout 85258 text service. Keeping our mental health in check is so important, especially at a time when the pandemic is forcing so many of us to be isolated in our own homes. Singing with the choirs definitely gives me a lift, even in these strange online times, and working in the community sector has made me aware of the numerous initiatives that are out there to help. But having a national service to fill some of the gaps, particularly for anyone who needs support in the middle of the night, is very reassuring.

So thank you to the elves for giving me the opportunity to shout about some of the things I’m proud of, and thank you for shining a spotlight on the great things that happen in our fine city.

You can hear the podcast here.

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Updated: 4 days ago


And welcome to the first ever blog post from Singing In… Sometimes this will be written by Kate, and sometimes by Pete. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever sit down together and write a post. We would never agree on how it should go if we tried!

So, what will our blog be about? Well, it will be a bit of an insight into what goes on behind the scenes at Singing In… It will include features on specific choir subjects like the key elements of a great warm up, how we choose repertoire, the process of putting a virtual choir performance together and so on. But it will also include Singing In… specific posts about us as a team looking at themes such as how we began, what music we love, our plans for the future…

This week it is Pete’s birthday. (Happy Birthday Pete!!!) The first year we were together, we went to Berlin for his birthday where we met up with friends of his and amongst other things, went to see the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in their AMAZING hall. It was a really special weekend of music and culture, friendship and food. We were having such a lovely time that we almost missed our flight home! Other birthday celebrations since then for both him and I have included going to see artists like Clare Teal, Kansas Smitty’s and Emilia Mårtensson (bit of a jazz theme going on there!)

Apart from a busker in Sheffield in the summer, neither of us have seen any live music since seeing Jamie Cullum at Sheffield City Hall on March 13th. His opening words were “Sheffield, I have never been so relieved to get on stage!” What followed was a wonderful evening of utterly brilliant music. I don’t know whether it was made better by the fact we all knew it was likely to be our last live music experience in a while, but it was a truly outstanding evening. A few days later the country was in lockdown.

So, back to Pete’s forthcoming birthday. This year there will be no live music outing, and in fact no outing at all apart from a walk around Oughtibridge, but there will absolutely still be music to help us celebrate (and cake, lots of cake!). We listen to music a lot at home and sometimes there is dancing too. This weekend will be no exception, and perhaps, almost as good as a live music gig to go to, is a new radio show from Clare Teal on Jazz FM. Even better than that, it’s back to a whole two hours (from a previously reduced hour at BBC).

And live music? That will feature in our lives again one day. And what a sweet day it will be to hear and experience that wonderful rush of exhilaration of being part of something bigger than ourselves.


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