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Community crowdfunding to save Finsbury Park choir for torture survivors

PUBLISHED: 12:27 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:42 15 February 2019

Sing for Freedom choir performing at a Milton Court concert. Picture: Freedom from Torture

Sing for Freedom choir performing at a Milton Court concert. Picture: Freedom from Torture

Archant

The community is crowdfunding to save a Finsbury Park choir where refugees, asylum seekers and torture survivors get “their voices back”.

A campaign to resurrect a choir run by Freedom from Torture charity has so far raised more than £10,000, but it needs to reach its 12,000 target before Monday or the money won’t be released.

Fifty-odd people would join the Singing for Freedom choir each week at the charity’s Isledon Road HQ until sessions stopped in July due to scant resources.

Noreen McKeever, from Freedom for Torture, told the Gazette: “The clients themselves will tell you that one of the thing torture does is silence them.

“They lose their feeling of self-worth and the choir gives them back their voice and also gives them a feeling of community – they make friends and come away feeling happier.”

Funding will allow the choir to reunite and perform in June as part of the annual Refugee Week.

The campaign is being led by Archway’s Mixed Up Chorus which recently collaborated with Freedom from Torture on the Singing for Our Lives Project.

Freedom from Torture helps rehabilitate survivors, campaigns to protect people from extradition to countries where they could face further torture, and holds states to account for human rights violations.

“It’s like my therapy,” said an unnamed choir service user. “I’m happy every time I sing. 
“When I wake up I sometimes feel lonely and sad but on Wednesday I come in and see the choir and after that I’m happy, the stress is gone, all is better – the choir is very important to my life.”

You can see the page here.

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