The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir performed their new Christmas single outside Lewisham Hospital A&E to a crowd of supporters and well-wishers.
The choir, formed last year as part of BBC television show ‘Sing While You Work’, were supported by local residents and members of the recent save Lewisham hospital campaign, as well as members of local Millwall football club.
They performed their new single ‘Bridge Over You’, a combination of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ and Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’.
Members of the choir, Elizabeth Steele, Sarah Wood, Caroline Harvard and Susanne Benett, spoke to ELL about their experience and the overwhelming support they’ve received for the single and its video.
“It’s a really positive view of the trust and the hard work that goes on not just herein Lewisham but all over the NHS,” said Harvard. “It’s a celebration of the NHS as a whole really.”
“It’s great to get Lewisham out there a little bit,” Benett agreed. “The music video especially has shown people the other side of our jobs, what goes on day to day at work.”
The choir was formed by Gareth Malone in 2012, for the television show ‘Sing While You Work’, and has carried on performing since the programme ended, including performances for patients in the wards at Lewisham Hospital.
Joe Blunden, the marketing communications manager who has organised the Christmas single, said: “They’re all very committed even though obviously they are all very busy and have long work shifts. 50 per cent of what it raises is going to Macmillan and the other 50 to local healthcare in the area; it’s completely to for charity and to celebrate on the choir’s first anniversary.”
Millwall Football Club players Paul Robinson and Alan Dunn were among the crowd supporting the choir and shared their enthusiasm for the Christmas single.
“We fully support it and are going to download it this afternoon,” said Robinson. “It was a lovely surprise to hear them sing and see the good work they’re doing.”
“It’s something that’s close to us as a team,” adds Dunn. “It’s a great Christmas single which is doing good and not just lining someone else’s pockets.”
The single has already received support from thousands of fans online, including double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, Hollywood actor Michael Sheen and comedian Eddie Izzard.
Choir member Caroline Harvard says that she doesn’t see why the choir shouldn’t aim for the number one spot this Christmas: “Why not! The more we sell, the more we raise for charity, as someone said to me the other day, it’s really just a choice between Simon Cowell and the National Healthcare System!”
The Single can be purchased from ITunes as well as major online retailers and can also be found at www.nhschoir.co.uk.