The National Lottery has launched Play makes it possible – linking playing the Lottery with the life-changing community projects supported by the Good Causes, including National Lottery Community Fund.
One of the projects featured in the TV advert is Tenovus, the Wales-based cancer charity that aims to prevent, treat and find a cure for cancer. Tenovus have received £1 million from National Lottery Community Fund to expand their Sing With Us choirs.
Jean Phillips is a member of the Bridgend Sing With Us choir along with her husband Huw, who has cancer. Jean recently wrote us the following letter.
I am the wife of a cancer sufferer and we are supported by Tenovus in so many ways. Huw is very poorly now but we are both members of one of their Sing With Us choirs – namely Bridgend. However, we have been associated and helped by them since Huw was invited to be a member of their “Big C Choir”.
I cannot even begin to tell you how helpful and supportive they have been. They have helped us to claim an attendance allowance successfully and their support line is always open to us. There have been times when I have felt completely alone in trying to help Huw with the pain and other side effects of his advanced prostate cancer – we try to be completely independent – however their helpline has helped me enormously to aid Huw on those occasions.
However, the biggest support for both of us is being members of Tenovus Sing With Us Bridgend Choir. It is one of the 16 choirs they now run and it is like a second family to all of us who belong to it. Like many others, there have been times when Huw has been too ill to go to rehearsal. Or perhaps he has gone but been a bit poorly whilst there. Or perhaps it has been me who has broken down whilst there….music is very emotional but healing nevertheless.
Members are all in similar situations, or grieving still, and they all rally round at those times. Being in this choir has also led to deeper friendships among members, including ourselves, which is the finest support anyone can have. It would not have happened without Tenovus Sing With Us choirs. We have coffee mornings, car treasure hunts, lunches, raffles to help with travel costs for gigs and an upcoming 1st anniversary dinner.
The amount of good the Lottery money has done is indefinable in this instance. Support for each other cannot be quantified in terms of money or numbers and nor can the extremely strong “feel-good factor” which comes with the singing we so love. Tenovus chooses the songs particularly suited to our situations and their specially commissioned “Sing For Life” (written for them by singer-songwriter Cat Southall) is just so apt that it has brought many in the audiences to tears.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the ‘cause’ and allowing this to happen. We have made so many good friends through it all and that includes many of the marvellous Tenovus staff. They do so much for us and very often in their own time, not in working hours. Tenovus could not have used your money more wisely!