About Rainbow Voices
Rainbow Voices is a community arts project of hope - bursting full of colourful crafts, uplifting songs and mindful moments that aim to help our local communities reflect, reconnect and rebuild in life after lockdown. Our project includes a mix of craft and singing activities to do at home, online or in-person at sessions touring to local parks and venues this summer. We want to help everyone get creative and get connected this summer!
The Singing Elf is a Social Enterprise based in Pittington and we are leading this free project in our local communities of Durham City and Sunderland Coalfields thanks to funding from Durham Area Action Partnership and Sunderland City Council. People who live outside our project map are still more than welcome to take part.
At The Singing Elf we love to help people experience the joy of singing their hearts out with others. In this past year, we haven't been able to sing together in-person, so instead we’ve created projects that raise a smile and offer a moment of calm.
Rainbow Voices is the next phase of The Singfulness Project - a programme of activities we launched after the first lockdown to help 'find your happy and do what makes your heart sing!'. Our post-COVID projects have all been about energising your body, stimulating your mind and soothing your soul. Read more about The Singfulness Project below.
What is Singfulness?
Singfulness is a feeling – it’s how you feel when you’re doing something for the pure joy of it and the sense of calm you get from being in the moment. Singfulness encapsulates all the good stuff you get from singing your heart out but from doing whatever makes you happy. It’s that uplifting sensation of belting out a song when no one else can hear, the satisfaction of nailing it for the very first time, the friendships made from sharing your experiences and the brief escapism from the world around us.
The reasons behind the project
We know that right now, lots of people in our community are going through difficult times for all sorts of reasons due to Coronavirus. This strange new reality brings unique challenges for us all and we are all affected in different ways. For some of us, our world may be lonely, for others it might be difficult to get a moments peace. But most of us aren’t able to do many of the things we would usually do to lift our spirits, connect with others and help us feel good. This project aims to offer much of what you might find at your local community centre and bring it straight to your home. You’ll get to choose the activities which make your heart sing, connect with others, share your achievements and be part of a community.
Why is The Singing Elf offering non-singing activities?
Before lockdown, The Singing Elf offered a range of in person singing events, specialising in helping adult beginners find their voice and organising large celebration events such as Durham Big Sing. As a not-for-profit Social Enterprise our community is at the heart of everything we do. The week before lockdown we launched our online singing programme to make sure that we could continue to support our singers through these unprecedented times. Once it became clear that singing together in person was going to be delayed for quite a while, we started to think about other ways we could help our community.
We thought about what our singers say they value most from our sessions - feeling uplifted and relaxed, sharing experiences and connecting with others, escaping from reality for a short while and above all, leaving our sessions with a smile. We revisited our core values below and soon realised that five out of six of our values can be achieved without singing! Although The Singing Elf Team specialise in singing, we all have creative backgrounds so we started to explore how we could use other activities in a new project that could help to combat social isolation and support mental wellbeing.
Our Core Values:
Celebrate community singing
in a non-competitive environment, welcoming all singers regardless of their level of ability, confidence or experience. Offer singing experiences within a wide range of settings, exploring different musical genres.
Strive to include everyone
by placing accessibility at the heart of all our work. Our ethos of meaningful inclusion aims to address the many barriers of taking part such as physical, mental & emotional health, social isolation and finance.
Create outstanding experiences
by delivering high quality, impactful events and projects. Working collaboratively with our venues and partners to achieve excellent standards across all our work.
Connect with our community
to build supportive relationship with our singers, the wider regional singing community and our local geographical community in and around our base near Durham.
Dare to be different
take risks and explore different opportunities in an ambitious way. Challenge perceptions, disrupt traditional attitudes and kick-start new ideas.
Energise & Inspire
through a collective love of singing and its power to unite communities. Focusing on enjoyment by creating fun, exhilarating experiences that invigorate and uplift singers.
©2019 The Singing Elf
The Singing Elf Ltd, Trading as The Singing Elf Social Enterprise, Company No. 12246373.
Registered Office: The Old Rectory, The Broadway, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 4BB, United Kingdom