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Singing club inspired by TV show Glee launched in Lincoln's Ermine estate

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

Jump to it: Father Stephen Hoy and Macaulay Crawford

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A singing club inspired by the TV show Glee has been launched on an estate in Lincoln.

The chorus, based in the Ermine estate, will perform a variety of pop, soul and jazz songs.

Launched with the help of almost £10,000 of lottery cash, Ermine Voices is looking for up to 100 people.

The group is being led by 18-year-old Macaulay Crawford, a music and education studies student at Bishop Grosseteste University.

He said: "The group will set out to draw people together from across the estate, all ages and all abilities in the hope to achieve something far greater than a little club.

"In an area where people are considered to have little self-esteem, we want to create networks, aspiration, confidence and pride in the 'lost' community.

"We want to create new relationships, enrich social development and encourage local identity."

The group is be based at St John the Baptist Parish Church in Sudbrooke Drive.

It has been launched to coincide with the church's 50th anniversary, although it will be a secular club.

Father Stephen Hoy had the original idea for the choir and managed to secure £9,915 from the BIG Lottery Fund.

He then joined up with Mr Crawford, who lives in Newport and also runs another group. The pair created Ermine Voices.

According to Father Hoy's research, the estate has not received significant funding over the last 25 years.

In his funding application, he wrote that the estate "consequently suffers from poor community cohesion, ambition and opportunity".

He added: "Local people have a low take-up of higher and further education opportunities and low self-esteem.

"The area has a high proportion of people with disabilities, mental illness and a particularly high number of single pensioners."

Mr Crawford, originally from Essex, hopes the group will "act as a voice for the community that will shout until heard".

The lottery cash will pay for marketing, office space, administrative support and other resources. Mr Crawford is also employed to run the choir.

Ermine resident Kerry Barrott, who has already joined the group, said: "It's going to be really wonderful for the area, especially for youngsters because there's not a lot for them to do.

"Sometimes the area does get forgotten a bit, but this will give people something fun to do where they can make friends, build confidence and meet their neighbours.

"It's just like estates in other towns, where they are a little run down and it's not thought about as much as other areas.

"But hopefully this will help people to value the area more and make them feel proud of it."

No previous experience is needed to join the group and all ages are welcome.

Rehearsals will be every Wednesday from 7pm at St John the Baptist Parish Church, starting on February 27.

Call Mr Crawford on 07821 085598 or e-mail macaulaycrawford@yahoo.co.uk.

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  • Brulzie  |  February 11 2013, 1:24PM

    I had to read this article several times to make sure I wasn't dreaming. The only word I could come up for it was, 'insulting'. Insulting to the hard working residents of the Ermine estate and insulting to those that are proud of where they live and work. I'm not sure we need a priest and an 18 year old youth to tell us we are 'lost souls' or indeed have 'little self esteem'. Many of us have done worthwhile and rewarding things for the Estate but we don't go to a newspaper to brag about it. We do it because we like where we live and work towards creating a decent community. Nick Ermine Estate and proud of it.

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  • OldLincolnia  |  February 08 2013, 1:16PM

    Has it seriously taken £10,000 of people's hard earned money to set up a little something like this? What exactly will that pay for?