Young Carers Aloud choir at Royal Carols: Together at Christmas

Friday 08 December 2023
Young Carers Aloud choir outside Westminster Abbey

Action for Children’s Young Carers Aloud choir delighted guests arriving at the ‘Together at Christmas’ carol service hosted by the charity’s patron, The Princess of Wales.

Young Carers Aloud welcome guests to Royal Carols

The choir made a stunning performance in the shadow of Westminster Abbey’s Christmas tree.

They welcomed guests with carols including ‘Let it Snow’ and ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’.

The Young Carers Aloud choir then took their places inside the Abbey, where members of the Royal Family gathered for the very special service.

The choir was honoured and thrilled to be asked to sing festive favourites, travelling to Westminster Abbey from Cardiff, along with the choir’s founder and former young carer, Laura Jones.

Laura said: "The choir and I were so excited about this opportunity. I’m so proud of them all! It’s such an honour and a real career highlight for me. I still can’t believe I had an official invitation from the palace!”

The choir consists of 12 young carers who have been supported by Action for Children, including one aged six.

Young Carers Aloud choir inside Westminster Abbey

What's the Royal Christmas Carol service?

The service, supported by The Royal Foundation, honoured those who work to support babies, young children and families in communities across the UK.

Linked to the Princess of Wales' Shaping Us campaign, the service showcased "the hope of new life and why it is so important to build supportive, nurturing worlds around children and the adults in their lives".

Join me this Christmas Eve for a special carol service, as we say a heartfelt thank-you to all those supporting the very youngest members of our society

HRH Princess of Wales

Who performed at the Royal Carols?

The Westminster Abbey choir performed popular carols, with musical performances by the likes of Jacob Collier, Freya Ridings and James Bay, and a special duet by Beverley Knight and Adam Lambert also taking place on the night.

Readings were given by speakers including the Prince of Wales, Micheal Ward, Emma Willis, Roman Kemp, and Jim Broadbent, while a specially commissioned poem written by Joseph Coelho, the Children's Laureate, was read by Leonie Elliott.

The Christmas Eve broadcast will also feature additional content, including an introduction by Kate and films emphasising the importance of early childhood.

This broadcast will include contributions from Rio and Kate Ferdinand, Ugo Monye, Andrea and Virginia Bocelli and Dame Sheila Hancock.

The service saw Westminster Abbey filled with "sustainable, eco-friendly festive decorations", with a Christmas post box located outside the abbey for children to send handmade Christmas cards and best wishes to other youngsters who might be struggling this festive season.

Who attended the Royal Carols?

Attendees were nominated by lord-lieutenants across the nation, in addition to charities associated with members of the royal family.

They were joined by those working in early years - a key focus area of the Princess of Wales' work through The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

The audience consisted of those who may have had a challenging year, including children and families, or those who might find the winter period difficult.

14-year-old Holly Shaw, who is supported by Action for Children’s short breaks service, Merryfields in Buckinghamshire, was nominated to attend the Abbey with her parents, Louise and John.

Holly lives with the genetic condition Angelman Syndrome, which presents a number of challenges, including a severe speech disorder and neurological processing.

Holly loves music and was very excited to be at the Abbey.

Holly with her parents and Paul at Royal Carols

Holly with her parents and Action for Children CEO, Paul Carberry, at the event

We were delighted to attend the carol concert on behalf of Action for Children

Holly's mother, Louise

Holly has been supported by some of the charity’s services since the age of seven, which have helped her to thrive and provided vital help for the whole family.

"The event is going to be a real treat for us!"

At Action for Children, we support vulnerable children and young people. With your help, we could help more children like Holly.

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We’re so excited for the Royal Carols: Together at Christmas concert and can’t wait to watch all the heart-warming performances. Royal Carols will be broadcast in a special programme at 7:30pm on ITV1 and ITV X on Christmas Eve.

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