THE unpredictable nature of Army life puts lots of pressure on families and the feeling of isolation can be common. There’s lots of research to say that singing in groups helps to alleviate stress and improve mental health, as well as bringing people together. That’s why the Military Wives Choirs are so important.
With an aim to bring women in the military community closer together through singing, there are more than 70 Military Wives Choirs in British bases across the UK and overseas helping to combat this isolation.
Jules (46), a member of North London Military Wives Choir, said: “We were posted to Northwood in September 2015 and despite moving several times in the past, as many Army families do, I found this move a particularly hard one.
“It’s a young patch with lots of mums meeting at the school gates. With my children away at boarding school, I was limited in the ways I could meet people.”
Jules (pictured right) had heard there was a Military Wives Choir in Bushy, but was nervous as she had never sung in a choir before.
“I’m not the best singer and when you’ve moved around a lot, it can knock your confidence in trying new things,” she said.
“I emailed the choir and got a friendly response instantly, but it still took me a while to pluck up the courage and go along.”
Eventually Jules bit the bullet and hasn’t looked back. “Stepping into the rehearsal room for the first time, it did initially feel daunting,” she explained. “But the ladies were incredibly welcoming. I can read music but I found it tricky to sing in harmony at first however, everyone was just so patient and helpful.”
After a few rehearsals, everything just fell into place for Jules, who said: “I’ve secured some lovely friendships with women of all ages with different connections to the military – it’s such an amazing thing to be involved in.
“When we’re all singing together, it’s a lovely blend of voices and the rush you get after a performance or even just a rehearsal is so nice. I wish I had joined sooner.”
Jules is on the move again soon and, because of the choir network, she’s already in touch with her nearest new choir in Innsworth so she can start meeting people straight away.
She added: “I would say to anyone who is thinking of joining but might be unsure to give it a go.
“I never thought that I would be part of something like this but I’m incredibly glad I am – I feel very proud to belong to North London Military Wives Choir.”
Find out more
The Military Wives Choirs are open to wives, fiancées or co-habiting partners, mothers, sisters or daughters of serving British Armed Forces personnel.
Serving or retired British military personnel and civilian employees within the military community who support Forces families are also eligible.