UK

Charlotte Church surprises young carers’ choir as new coach before gala event

Charlotte Church has become a new vocal coach for Action for Children’s young carers’ choir (Anna Gordon/PA)
Charlotte Church has become a new vocal coach for Action for Children’s young carers’ choir (Anna Gordon/PA) Charlotte Church has become a new vocal coach for Action for Children’s young carers’ choir (Anna Gordon/PA)

A choir made up of young carers from Wales received a “life-changing” surprise when singer-songwriter Charlotte Church signed on as their new vocal coach ahead of their biggest performance.

Church, 37, from Cardiff, joined Action for Children as a mentor for its choir comprised of members aged between six and 19 ahead of the charity’s inaugural Starry Night gala on November 30.

Church and the choir will headline the entertainment event, which aims to raise money for children and young people in need, at Battersea Arts Centre in south London in front of celebrities and VIP guests after months of collaboration and rehearsals.

Charlotte Church standing with Harper, the youngest member of the choir
Charlotte Church standing with Harper, the youngest member of the choir Charlotte Church with six-year-old Harper, the youngest member of the choir (Anna Gordon/PA) (ANNA GORDON/Anna Gordon/ Action for Children)

Every member of Action for Children’s 12-strong choir is a carer who helps look after a relative, such as a parent or sibling, helping with practical tasks around the home such as cooking, housework, shopping and helping them dress.

They were surprised earlier this year when Church invited them to visit her at her wellness retreat in Wales where she revealed she was to be their new vocal coach.

She said: “Each member of the Action for Children young carers’ choir is an inspiration in their own right and we’ve been on a very special journey together to prepare for the Starry Night gala performance.

“It’s been a privilege to work with them and learn more about the challenges they face.

Charlotte Church standing in front of the choir wearing a black dress and a white scarf
Charlotte Church standing in front of the choir wearing a black dress and a white scarf Charlotte Church said it had been a ‘privilege’ to work with the choir (Anna Gordon/PA) (ANNA GORDON/Anna Gordon/ Action for Children)

“I can’t wait to see the choir give the performance of their lives on such a magical night.”

Choir member Taylor, 16, who cares for her mother, said the group has given young carers like her the opportunity to “switch off” and “enjoy ourselves”, and working with Church had been “incredible”.

“Being in the choir is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she said.

“I think back to the times when I’ve felt so low and alone and it feels surreal. I’m in such a different place now.

Members of the choir standing together in the woods
Members of the choir standing together in the woods The choir was set up in 2017 by Laura Jones (Anna Gordon/PA) (ANNA GORDON/Anna Gordon/ Action for Children)

“Working with Charlotte has been incredible but she’s getting the best out of us and I can’t wait to perform on the night.”

Former young carer and Action for Children’s co-choir leader Laura Jones, who established the group in 2017, said: “I still have to pinch myself to believe that this is happening and that I am working with the one and only Charlotte Church.

“The experience has been life-changing for every choir member, including myself, giving us an opportunity to show what we can really do.”

To find out more about the choir’s upcoming performance, visit actionforchildren.org.uk/