Voices Welcome registered as a UK charity in 2018 and was started by people who feel passionately that singing has the power to bring people together.
Our founding trustees were members of a community choir and wanted singing opportunities and their benefits to reach vulnerable and isolated members of their community. In 2018 they started to pilot singing sessions at a local refugee centre in Peckham, South London, which were well received.
During these pilot sessions, a young Syrian man attended with two friends – each time the group were invited to share a song, his friends would turn to him and encourage him to sing, but he seemed too shy.
Towards the end of the session he smiled and agreed to sing a song, which led to the whole group joining in and when he had finished, he received a huge round of applause! He said he was very proud to have shared his song and for it to have been received so positively.
Voices Welcome was created because we believe by singing together refugees can feel welcome and connected.