NHS workers and cancer patients set to perform inspirational concert

Two hospital choirs formed to promote positivity, good health and well-being will come together next month for an evening of song, enjoyment, and inspiration.

Local NHS choir, HEY! Let’s Sing (pictured), will join forces with Positive Note, a choir comprising hospital patients and staff from the Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology in Cottingham.

Directed by Helen Garnett, who featured on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year, the HEY! Let’s Sing choir comprises more than 75 members of staff from Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital. Established in 2014, the choir contains NHS midwives, accountants, secretaries and radiographers to name a few, and they are now taking the city by storm, having already featured in a recent Hull City of Culture video* and performed at both Hull Pride and Hull City Hall.

Positive Note, also formed in 2014, is made up of patients who are undergoing cancer treatment or who have beaten cancer, along with their family and friends, and staff from the Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology, some of whom will have played a part in those patients’ care and treatment.

Proceeds from the concert, which will see a range of rock and pop favourites being performed, will help to fund further workshops and performance opportunities for both choirs.

Bonnie Gough, Web Developer for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and one of the founding members of the HEY! Let’s Sing Choir, says:

“We wanted to join together with Positive Note as we really love what they are doing for patients and families affected by cancer. Although our two choirs are aimed at two different groups of people, we share the goal of encouraging singing for health and wellbeing.

“There are numerous physical benefits to singing, including increasing the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain, and giving you a greater awareness of your body and the way it works.

“As for mental health, it requires motivation and focus to learn a song, which can act as a really good distraction from the worries that are often experienced by anyone who spends a lot of time in a hospital environment – whether we’re talking about staff, patients or relatives.

“Singing also gives a huge boost to our emotional health, often unlocking emotions we had been keeping locked inside. Singing often makes us laugh or cry! Not to mention all those endorphins it releases.”

Sarah Guest, Clinical Nurse Specialist with the Trust’s Cancer Survivorship Team, says:

“Anyone who is affected by cancer, whether that’s as a patient or as a carer, can go through an incredibly emotive and difficult journey, regardless of the outcome. Positive Note really helps to bring people who have been through similar experiences together and gives them something positive to focus on.

“Singing has proven to be incredibly therapeutic, not just for our patients but for staff as well who are often very busy and use this as a kind of release at the end of the day.

“We’re now really excited to be teaming up with HEY! Let’s Sing to showcase the benefits of singing and what we can do.

“Positive Note took its inspiration from visiting Tenovus choir in Cardiff which is another choir for cancer patients, and we had the privilege of singing with them this year. The funds we hope to raise through this concert will be used to take the choir back to Cardiff to sing again; it was just the most uplifting experience.”

The HEY! Let’s Sing / Positive Note concert kicks off at 7:45pm on Friday 4th November in the Lecture Theatre, Medical Education Centre, Hull Royal Infirmary. Tickets are priced at £10 each and are available by calling 07834 322694, emailing choir@hey.nhs.uk or by messaging HEY! Let’s Sing via Twitter @heyletssing All welcome.

See the Hull City of Culture video featuring HEY! Let’s Sing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3ziUECCPrI