A choir has raised £27,000 in less than three days for a charity helping women suffering from domestic abuse during the the coronavirus lockdown.
Earlier this week, London City Voices released a video of Carole King's “You've Got A Friend” to support survivors of domestic abuse.
276 members of the choir recorded their own video of them performing the song in the hope that it might help raise awareness and vital funds for Women’s Aid’s Live Chat service.
Coercive and controlling behaviour has escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic and women and children are becoming increasingly isolated.
Women’s Aid said it received a 41% increase in users visiting our Live Chat page during the first two weeks of lockdown and they expect this demand to continue to rise.
The Live Chat service is more vital than ever as it can be discreetly accessed by those who are able to privately message on their phones but who would be unable to make a phone call without being heard by the perpetrator.
Raising over £27,000 in less than three days has helped Women's Aid reach it's overall fundraising goal (of £200K) to enable them to temporarily extend the hours of the Live Chat service.
Watch the full video below:
Commenting on the success of the fundraising mission, Richard Swan, Director of London City Voices said: “London City Voices has a long history of fundraising for many charities, and although we are all separated from each other at this time, we really wanted to come together to do something positive in the crisis.
“We want to help women and children who may be struggling to access support right now while being trapped at home with their abuser. The Women's Aid Live Chat service is crucial to giving advice to women suffering domestic abuse and who may not be able make phone calls without being overheard.”
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Discussing how the members of the choir have themselves been coping with lockdown, he added: “For many of our 500+ members, our choir is like an extended family. We are missing our face-to-face singing and social activities, but we have transferred some of these online, and have added even more.
“Members are supporting each other with phone calls, quizzes, sing-a-longs and of course, rehearsals. We would like everyone to feel that they have someone to turn to, and that they are not alone, whatever their circumstances.
“We really appreciate everyone's generosity in donating to the Women's Aid Live Chat campaign, and we hope that people will share the video with their friends. We really are stronger together.”
Earlier this month Victoria Derbyshire was praised after she presented the BBC news with the number for the National Domestic Abuse helpline written on her hand.
The praise came after the charity, Refuge, announced a 25% increase in calls to their helpline amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The website has also had a 150% increase in visitors during the seven days following the introduction of stricter social distancing measures.
Campaigners warned of the strain a nationwide lockdown would have on sufferers of domestic abuse ahead of the stricter measures which were imposed on 23 March.
Donations are welcomed www.justgiving.com/fundraising/london-city-voices.