Members of the School of Hard Knocks Port Macquarie Hastings choir come from all walks of life but are joined by their love of music and their passion to be a part of something bigger.
Choir coordinator Katrina Humble said the choir that was started two years ago and is the brain child of the Port Macquarie Community College, has the ability to radically change lives.
“The members of our choir have mental health issues, disabilities or are isolated from the community in some way, but since the choir began in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area it has helped so many people,” Ms Humble said.
“Since we started the choir two years ago, we have doubled our membership and have over 50 active members with a steady band of regulars who come to rehearsals every week which is fantastic.”
Ms Humble said that the choir has given its members the confidence to go out and achieve goals they never thought possible.
“We have become a family,” she said.
“Through the choir, it is just great to see so many people now have the confidence to go out into the community and get jobs or their drivers licence.
“We check in with all our members and it has been really incredible to note that mental and physical health issues are improving due to our members coming along and singing and being able to connect with people when they otherwise might not have been able to.”
She also said the choir have a full schedule planned for the 2018 year.
“This year we are planning on performing more regularly so people should definitely look out for us and come see a performance.”
Jackie Britt is a member of the group and said she has been blown away by how much the singing group has changed her life.
“Two years ago I was looking for a choir that met during the day, I found this one and haven’t looked back,” Ms Britt said.
“I just love to sing and singing with everyone has given me my confidence back.
“Now everywhere I go I am singing our songs and I just love life again.”