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Refugee choir in finals for national award

By ruby prior, Tuesday Aug 13, 2019

The European Young Music Refugee Choir (EYMRC) rehearse and perform regularly in Bristol and have reached the finals of the 25th Birthday National Lottery Award.

The choir is nominated in the Art, Culture and Film category and are now appealing for public votes to win the £10,000 cash prize.

A large part of what the National Lottery do, aside from creating millionaires, is raising money. Through players, they have raised more than £40bn for good causes over the past 25 years

EYMRC runs choirs across England, including Bristol. The group unites young refugees and asylum seekers through song, creating a welcoming community for them.

Through the choir, they can experience a warm welcome while developing new skills and making new friends.

The choir is asking for the public to vote for them in the national awards

The youth choir started in August 2018 when European Youth Music Week invited 32 young refugees across Bristol, Leicester, and Birmingham to sing three choral pieces, culminating in a group performance in Leicester Cathedral after one week of rehearsals.

With an overwhelmingly positive reception and successful show, the choir became an ongoing project and perform across the country, including at Bristol Refugee Festival in June 2019.

“We were so happy to be told that theEuropean Youth Music Refugee Choir had been shortlisted as a finalist in the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards,” says EYMRC’s Sarah Pickstone.

“We’re hoping that everyone gets behind us. We would love to spread the word further afield so that more people know and understand what we do and so that we can help more asylum seekers and refugees.”

To reach the finals, the organisation have beat 700 organisations. Now at the public voting stage, the competition finishes with a star-studded awards ceremony that will be broadcast on BBC One in November 2019.


“The European Youth Music Refugee Choir is doing an incredible job and the work they do is hugely impressive,” says Jonathan Tuchner of the National Lottery.

“They thoroughly deserve to be in the finals of the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards and with your support they could be a winner.”

To vote for EYMRC go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or use the hashtag #NLARefugeeChoir on Twitter.

Read more: Appeal to save Bristol refugee charity


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