Supporting groups to get established, build confidence and access funding

We supported the Feelgood Choir to get established and access funding to start a singing group to aid mental health

The Feelgood Choir originally started as Dudley Mind Feelgood Choir, with the idea that group singing could be a wonderful aid to mental health. The choir regularly sang at shows and events, including at two Dudley CVS Dudley Volunteer Awards.

In 2016 two choir members contacted our small groups officer to explore the idea of setting the choir up as an independent group that might be able to manage itself and make it more sustainable. Due to cuts to the voluntary sector, Dudley Mind could offer the choir limited support and a free venue for rehearsals, but could no longer cover all the costs involved with running the choir.

Our small groups officer got together with Jan and Val and talked them through setting up as a voluntary group, explaining the role of the committee and helping to develop the constitution.

The next step was to think about planning the group’s work so that we could identify what difference the group wanted to make to people’s lives and how it would do that. This also involved thinking about what costs were involved so that any funding application we worked on would be as detailed and specific as possible. We came out with a simple plan and Awards for All as an appropriate funder to approach as recommended by our small groups officer.

Jan worked hard on the funding application, putting in research, stories from members and learning from running the choir with help from Dudley Mind. We were on hand to review the application and make some suggestions for improving it so that it was completely clear.

After a few months of waiting we finally heard the news that the funding application had been successful.

While working on the bid, Dudley Mind had to close Dove House where the Feelgood Choir rehearse because of further cuts to its funding. Thankfully, the Feelgood Choir was able to secure our venue – DY1 – to continue rehearsing and now it has room for many more members.

“Dudley CVS gave me guidance on how to run a not-for-profit business, set up a Constitution, and pointed me in the direction of The Big Lottery to apply for funding.” Jan Wood, Feelgood Choir

Find out more about the Feelgood Choir  visit the website: feelgoodchoir.co.uk

Read Jan’s story at www.beautifullyhuman.co.uk/jan-wood

 

 

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