A CHOIR of unpaid carers is lifting people’s spirits at East Lothian Community Hospital.

Care to Sing are members of Carers of East Lothian and began singing together at the hospital in 2020 but were forced to take sessions online during lockdown.

The choir now practise every Wednesday in the community hall of the Haddington hospital, 1.30pm to 3pm.

Jenny Swan, who started the choir, said: “Our goal is to lift the spirits of some of the members, who are all unpaid carers, and the people at the hospital.

“We’ve had a great reception from the hospital staff too.

“Last week we performed in the cafe and we had reception staff, office staff and kitchen staff all come out to enjoy the music so it really lifts their spirits.”

The choir is made up of between six and 12 people each week, all of whom are carers or former carers.

Jenny said that the choir was as much a social gathering as it was an opportunity to learn songs.

She said: “Many of our members are now meeting up outside the choir as well, which is really lovely to see.

“Our singers don’t have to have a great voice; they don’t need to be good at singing, they just need a love for it and for wanting to get involved.

“It’s about bringing people together who share that common bond of caring for others, which often can be a 24-hour job, and giving them that break and that freedom to take some time to relax and enjoy a fun activity.

“We’re always looking for new members and we invite any carers who feel they need a break to come along and join us.”

The choir recently received funding through Shared Care Scotland, which support care services across the country.

The £4,537 funding will ensure the choir can continue to run for another year.

Jenny said: “We’re incredibly grateful to have received the funding from Shared Care Scotland; it will mostly go to the running of the choir, paying our choir leader and keeping us going.

“We want to keep growing the choir as much as possible and this funding will help us do that so we’re very grateful.”

Any unpaid carers wanting to join the choir can contact Jenny on 07760 760046 or Carers of East Lothian on 0131 665 0135.