Charlotte Church turns surprise vocal coach for young carers’ choir as they prepare for ‘performance of their lives’
Action for Children’s choir and Charlotte Church are set to headline the charity’s first-ever star-studded gala
Singer-songwriter, Charlotte Church, has joined leading UK charity, Action for Children as a new vocal coach for its young carers’ choir, Young Carers Aloud, mentoring children and young people in Wales to give the ‘performance of their lives’ at a star-studded gala later this week.
Action for Children’s first-ever Starry Night Gala takes place on 30th November at Battersea Arts Centre in London, where Charlotte and the choir will headline the event after months of collaboration, to raise vital funds for children and young people who need it most.
The choir was stunned earlier this year when Charlotte invited them to visit her at her wellness retreat, The Dreaming in the Elan Valley in Wales when she revealed she was to be their new vocal coach.
Intensive rehearsals and hard work have continued since then to ensure they feel confident and performance-ready to blow away celebrities and VIP guests with their singing talents at the gala.
Action for Children’s 12-strong choir sees children and young people from Wales, aged 6 to 19 come together for a deeper purpose as every member is a young carer who helps look after a member of their family.
Some care for their parents, or care for a brother or sister and help with practical tasks around the home like cooking, housework, shopping and helping them dress.
Former young carer and Action for Children’s co-choir leader, Laura Jones who started the choir in 2017, is working closely with Charlotte to help members find their own voices and create tight bonds to support each other as they take on more responsibility and care for their families.
Charlotte Church 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.
“Since I was a child, I found a deep connection in music. It’s an important way for people to connect with themselves and each other which is so important for this talented group who often have the weight of adult responsibility on their shoulders. It’s been a privilege to work with them and learn more about the challenges they face.
“I can’t wait to see the choir give the performance of their lives on such a magical night.”
Laura Jones, co-choir lead, added: “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.
“I set up the choir for young carers who are passionate about singing and performing, giving them a chance to be with others who understand the challenges and sacrifices they make while supporting their families. I see them growing in confidence with each rehearsal.”
Choir member, Taylor (16) who cares for her mum, said: “Not a lot of people understand what it’s like to be a young carer, so to find people who do is rare. Being in the choir is one of the best decisions, I’ve ever made.
“We can totally switch off and enjoy ourselves. I’m always telling people I’m part of the choir – I love it! 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.
“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.”
There are an estimated one million young carers across the UK* looking after a family member with a disability, illness or mental health problem - some as young as five years old.
Catch Charlotte on This Morning, Thursday 30th November and the Young Carers Choir on Friday 1st December from 10am on ITV1 and ITVX.
This Christmas, join Action for Children and become a Secret Santa for vulnerable child - visit iamsanta.org.uk. You could help a vulnerable child feel the magic of Christmas.
Emma Marshall, PR Lead, Action for Children – 07875 399995 /
NOTES TO EDITOR:
*A BBC and University of Nottingham study in 2018 showed there were around 800,000 young carers aged 11 to 16 in England alone. Accounting for those aged 17 or under 11 and the number in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Carers Trust estimates the UK number to be more than one million.
Images and video trailer available here.
About Action for Children
Action for Children protects and supports vulnerable children and young people by providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives. With 426 services across the UK, in schools and online, in 2022/23 we helped 765,905 children, young people and families. actionforchildren.org.uk