Hello, my name's Sally and I'm a trustee of the Choir with No Name. And I'm also the sister of Marie, who set up the Choir with No Name.
I wasn't hugely involved when she first started it up, because I was working full-time, and I had a baby – but it didn’t take me long to become the Choir with No Name’s number one fan! I came to every gig, and thought how brilliant it was, and how brilliantly Marie was doing everything. Eventually, Marie asked me to be the Chair of the Board of Trustees, which I did for a year before handing over to someone else. But I am still a trustee, and I love being part of the board.
I also spent several months volunteering every week for the North London choir, singing and helping out in the kitchen. There’s an incredible magnetic energy amongst the volunteers, drawing them together. In fact, I think there's enough people that care about the Choir with No Name existing (Marie has said this herself), actually that it would carry on whatever happened.
It doesn't just feel like a charity that's about helping and caring for people who are vulnerable, it feels like it's like a band that gets together to rehearse.
The musical side is as important as the emotional care side of it, and I think that ethos will continue no matter who's running it or which choir in the country it is, because that's what makes it unique. It's not another place providing shelter for homeless people - it' a place that's very much about what can we do together creatively, and what are we capable of, and what's really fun!
For me, the best things about Choir with No Name are the really simple, beautiful moments. Like, there was a choir member who came for a while, who didn't ever do solos, and was very quiet-spoken, and then did a duet. Every time they sang it made me cry. It was amazing. And that sort of moment in rehearsal when you hear someone sing... So, yes, little individual moments of hearing a song are my highlights, really.