Fareham’s 50 Plus Choir singing for charity

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From Irving Berlin to George Gershwin, one choir is putting on the glitz this Saturday to raise money for charity.

Fareham’s 50 Plus Singers is 26 years old this year and to celebrate, the troop will be taking to the Holy Trinity Church stage, supporting the mayor’s chosen charities.

This year they include Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) and the Dave Wellman Cancer Trust.

Made up of older members of the Fareham community, the choir practices once a week in the depths of Fareham Leisure Centre.

Choir secretary Fred Bridges, 79, has been a member of the singers for 15 years.

‘After raising so much money last year, we would like to do the same for the mayor’s charity this year – but it’s going to be a fun night,’ said Fred.

Last year the group raised more than £600 and this year’s selection of songs include the likes of Putting on the Ritz and There’s No Business Like Show Business.

Gafirs provides emergency lifeboat services in the Solent and Portsmouth Harbour and the Dave Wellman Cancer Trust raises funds for cancer research and supports local hospices. But Fred believes the group offers much more than just raising money for worthy causes.

He said: ‘The choir is a very important feature as it provides opportunities for people to meet new people and encourages good health – singing is all about deep breathing – and it prolongs life.

‘We are an offshoot of the 50 Plus Health and Fun Club so some of our members come straight from playing badmington on the courts to join the choir on a Friday.

‘We have an average age of 80 in this choir so long may it continue.’

As well as rehearsing once a week, the 50-strong band of singers perform regularly for retirement associations, luncheon clubs, care homes, and other clubs and societies.

Saturday’s show will begin at 7.30pm and tickets cost £7.50 (£6 concessions) on the door or from choir members.

For more information on the 50 Plus Singers visit the website at 50plussingers.co.uk.