Oxford MailChoir support will hit the right notes (From Oxford Mail)

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Choir support will hit the right notes

Oxford Mail: The Blackbird Leys choir The Blackbird Leys choir

The people behind the Jubilee Fund for Oxfordshire are urging the county to ‘sing from the same song sheet’ as the Blackbird Leys Choir – and spread a little love and harmony to others.

The 20-strong choir, which found fame after appearing in Channel Five’s series the Singing Estate – is just one group which could benefit from the county’s Jubilee Fund.

Inspired by the Queen’s 60 years of community service, the fund will provide grants to small, local voluntary organisations.

Businesses, groups and individuals throughout the county are being encouraged to swell the coffers of the fund throughout 2012 with the aim of creating cash grants and endowments to support community groups over the next 60 years.

And the Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), which is steering the fund, hopes everyone will jump on the bandwagon.

Jayne Woodley, chief executive of the Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) said: “The Blackbird Leys Choir is a wonderful example of communities getting together and achieving something extraordinary.

“It is groups like this which will be helped by the generosity of Oxfordshire residents. Together we can make the Jubilee Fund for Oxfordshire something definitely worth singing about.”

The Blackbird Leys Choir is the reformed Ivor’s Choir, which featured in the Singing Estate and saw 40 ordinary residents transformed into a classical choir in just four months. Last year they received a grant of £750 Red Nose Community Cash, from the foundation, to help with their running costs, including running outreach sessions to give people a chance to try the choir out, before taking the plunge.

Musical director Trevor Davies, 64, said: “The choir needs about £5,000 a year to operate and with this we are currently taking choral music into rural communities and city churches.

“But we have great plans for the future and grant money from the Jubilee Fund would enable us to take our music into schools and to run more taster sessions for people interested in joining our choir – in short, to create a lasting legacy of choral music.

“It’s a very exciting prospect and we hope many people will get involved.”

A year-long programme of Jubilee fundraising ‘challenges’ kicked off last month when the foundation, launched the Jubilee Magic 60 challenge, urging businesses to donate £10 for every year of the Queen’s 60-year reign to the fund.

The Oxfordshire Community Foundation wants to hear from businesses, groups and individuals interested in raising or donating money.

Email jubilee@oxfordshire.org, call 01865 798666, or drop into OCF’s offices at 3 Woodins Way, Oxford.

Alternatively, donate by phone by texting JBLE 12 to 70070 with a donation.

To apply for Jubilee Fund cash, visit oxfordshire.org

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