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Carols on the doorstep brought people together in the midst of the pandemic last year. Broadcast on over 30 local radio stations, it led to wonderful scenes of families singing on doorsteps, sharing mulled wine over the fence with neighbours and children playing instruments in front gardens. An estimated 125,000 people took part, raising over £10,000 for MIND UK and local charities, with collections at street level.
This year, Doorstep Carols 2021 is a supercharged nationwide event, taking all of the street magic of last year across the country whilst also reaching out to those who are isolated. BBC local radio stations and BBC Sounds will again broadcast the pre-recorded backing tracks to well-known carols and Christmas songs so that the nation can sing in unison.
A host of national organisations and celebrities are jumping on board as this event grows, supporting the British public in what is expected to become a record breaking singalong.
Doorstep Carols organiser Katy Rink said: “Last year we saw some wonderful scenes up and down the country, with people joining in on their doorsteps playing musical instruments, drinking mulled wine, decorating their doorsteps and having a wonderful time with their neighbours.
“We’re absolutely delighted that BBC local radio stations are on board again this year so that people will be able to tune in to local radio wherever they are in the country. It’s about celebrating the joy of singing together – and sharing the experience. It’s as simple as that!
“This Christmas, we hope to see more of a street party festival atmosphere, with neighbours able to celebrate and sing together,” says co-organiser Beth Heath. “If Covid restrictions allow it, people can really go to town this year decorating their streets with fairy lights, lighting firepits in the garden or singing in community halls and village greens.
The message behind the magic is a serious one following restrictions on collective music and performance. Doorstep Carols 2021 aims to remind the nation of the social and psychological benefits of singing together. Adding his support Sir Tim Rice said: "I hope that singing en masse will remind us that music, especially vocals, can bring everyone together whether in unison or harmony. We must not let recent troubles make us fearful of using our voices.”
This event will bring people together to sing in their communities but it will also provide a musical connection for people who are isolated. Children in hospital will sing from the wards knowing that they are singing with their loved ones. Care home providers across the UK are working to engage hundreds of care homes enabling elderly residents to sing along knowing that they are singing with the nation. Everyone can tune in and join in with this collective singing event.
With the support of Rebecca Smith at Link For Good, Doorstep Carols is partnering with multiple charities that recognise the value of music in the work that they do. These include Youth Music, Dementia UK, Demelza Children’s Hospice, MindUK, Spread a Smile, Ex Cathedra and others. People are encouraged to use this opportunity to raise money for a charity of choice on the night.
Rebecca Smith of Link For Good, championing the ‘Let’s Sing Together’ message, said: “Collective singing plays a significant role in positive group identity, it creates a sense of social inclusion in a world fractured by the pandemic. By encouraging people, particularly children, to sing together again we are providing a reminder of the social and psychological power of collective song. This year between 6-7pm on December 15th no one need feel alone because we can all sing together.”
Visit doorstepcarols.co.uk for more information and to find out how to tune in, download the words and music and sing along on Wednesday 15 December at 6pm. For more details contact Katy Rink on 07701 048360.
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