LIBRARIES in Gloucestershire are expanding their choir service, to help combat loneliness among the over 60s, after a successful National Lottery funding bid. 

The successful funding application of £16,400 means that the service can be offered to more communities in Gloucestershire. Choirs will be offered to Coleford and Tuffley libraries to begin in July.

The first Library Choir was launched at Longlevens in November 2023, as part of a three-year Arts Council England initiative focussing on Ageing with Creativity.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries at Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), said: “I’m pleased that Gloucestershire Libraries are expanding their choir service into more libraries. 

“It has been a great success so far in tackling loneliness and isolation, and offers the opportunity for people to meet new friends.

“I would encourage anyone interested to go along and try it out – you don’t need any previous experience and everyone is welcome.”

GCC eased residents’ minds hoping to join but feel unsure or shy. GCC said: “An experienced choir leader will guide the group, ensuring that song choices are made together to reflect tastes and preferences.

“Refreshments will be provided and there will be plenty of time to socialise, make new friendships and chat.”

More information is available in your local library or you can email [email protected]