7th Jul, 2022

Coventry Gosp-ability choir members' journey to BBC Royal Wedding performance

Felix Nobes 24th May, 2018 Updated: 24th May, 2018

THE COVENTRY Gosp-ability choir members have spoken about their life-changing journey leading to a live BBC TV performance in honour of the Royal Wedding – and their letter of support from Prince Harry.

Sandra Godley, an acclaimed Coventry gospel singer, assembled a special choir of 26 individuals who have overcome mental illness or physical disability.

Following its success, Sandra confirmed she will work on a ‘bigger plan’ for the choir and says it has already received lots of booking interest.

The choir formed in March has been on a whirlwind journey and its 12 talented Coventrians have been propelled to fame.

They conquered personal obstacles to perform live on Thursday’s production of BBC’s The One Show ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on Saturday (May 19).

Sandra and the choir were presented with a good luck letter from Prince Harry just before they performed last Thursday.

Choir member Julie Hill, 45, works in customer service and has suffered an illness causing chronic back, neck and jaw pain since her 20s.

She said: “It is a privilege to sing with such brave and inspirational people. I have been singing all my life. Music keeps me sane.

“My confidence has grown and the fresh perspective makes me feel like a new person.

“My pains are still a challenge but now I have more energy and zest to deal with it better – and new friends to help me.

“I really hope the choir can continue to touch the lives of others and educate the world that having health challenges is not something to shy away from because we are real people.

“And so is the love of song that can resonate in our hearts.”

Sandra was inspired by Prince Harry’s ‘Heads Together’ campaign.

The campaign is supported by the Royal Foundation and is a partnership of charities which provide frontline mental health support – while raising awareness and tackling stigma.

The release of the choir’s charity single – Big Love Song – also coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week (May 14-19).

Another member who has been given a new lease of life is 35-year-old Coventry factory worker, Tyrone – who suffers from anxiety.

He said: “Gosp-ability has given me a sense of meaning, a sense of hope and loving care.

“I’m so happy I went along and I’m so happy I didn’t give up on life.

“This goes a lot further than just the Royal Wedding and I hope the work continues.

“I’ve been given this energy to do things out my comfort zone to help others.

“I was able to share my story with complete strangers who I now consider to be brothers and sisters.”

Sandra said: “The performance was fantastic. I thought; they have done some big things – performed at Coventry Cathedral – but will they deliver in front of millions of people? They were brilliant.

“They are in constant contact with each other – they will have friendships for life.”

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