With over 70 choirs and more than 2,000 members in military bases across the UK and overseas, the Military Wives Choirs (MWC) is a charity that brings all women in the military community, not just wives, closer together and empowers them through singing. Army&You spoke to Tracy from Dishforth Military Wives Choir about how choir has helped her and her daughter through a tough time…
Tracy is an army mum, her 23-year-old daughter Ashleigh is an army medic. After attending Army Foundation College Harrogate, Ashleigh trained in Lichfield, spent three years serving in Germany and is now working for 21 Engineer Regiment in Dishforth.
Tracy was sadly diagnosed with breast cancer in January, which was absolutely shattering for the whole family. She turned to her Dishforth choir ladies for support and says she cannot fault them and their efforts to support her welfare.
“From including me in all of the virtual activity and checking in on me and my daughter, to delivering an Easter wreath when I was too poorly to make my own at the online choir social, they’ve been brilliant,” says Tracy.
Dishforth MWC created a video of what everyone has been up to over lockdown and Tracy was thrilled to be included.
She says: “The Military Wives Choirs strive to be supportive and inclusive and it’s what it says on the tin.”
Singing in a choir has the ability to alleviate stress and improve mental health and wellbeing; the welfare support the choirs deliver is felt farbeyond rehearsals. Before lockdown, Tracy joined her choir friends to perform at Manchester Piccadilly to celebrate the launch of the film ‘Military Wives’. Seeing her choir ladies and their smiles buoyed her spirits as she started her cancer treatment; their reassurances meant the world to her. She adds: “I’d have been lost without them.”
Tracy and Ashleigh (main photo) have both received many messages from choir members checking in and wishing them well, and she’s pleased that this welfare support extends to her daughter. She calls the Dishforth choir ladies “a phenomenal set of women, even with young children and husbands sent off on deployment, they’ve opened their arms to support Ashleigh”.
The tri-service Military Wives Choirs are open to all women with a direct military connection and are nonauditioned. To find out more, visit militarywiveschoirs.org