A music graduate is wielding a conductor’s baton to help cancer survivors who have formed a choir in North Wales.
Izzy Rodrigues, of Chester, works for the Tenovus charity in Flint and conducts the Tenovus Sing With Us Choir – made up of cancer survivors and those affected by the disease.
She and her choir have just raised over £200 at a special tea party held by leading North Wales and Chester law firm Swayne Johnson for their clients and friends of the company which has six offices across the region, including one in Tattenhall.
The choir, which is more than 40 strong, went down a storm at the event at Colwyn Bay Cricket Club and Izzy, who has a music degree from Bangor University, said: “The concept of the Tenovus Choirs has been going for six years.
“It started in Wrexham and we had lottery funding to extend it across Wales and now we have 15 here and four more in England.
“Tenovus has even done some research into the benefits of singing and it has a biological effect on your body, reducing stress hormones and boosting the immune system as well.”
Swayne Johnson solicitor Sian Thompson invited the choir to perform and her colleague, Emma Deering, a legal executive in the firm’s private client section, said: “We heard about the choir because they had performed at the wedding of a member of our staff.
“We wanted to do something a bit different for our clients and the choir were brilliant, very upbeat and they went down very well, so we just left envelopes out for donations and were amazed we had raised £214.74.
“We were delighted as well because the idea of the choir is
such a good one and their enthusiasm is infectious.”
Among the choir members was a thalidomide victim who has also beaten cancer. Gill Tyrer, 57, from Penrhyn Bay, praised the charity choir which has helped her recover from a life-saving operation.
She said: “I was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago – I had just moved to Penrhyn Bay with my 11-year-old daughter, Livia, after my marriage broke up.
“I knew I was unwell and my doctor sent me to the specialist who diagnosed bowel cancer and my first thought was how do I tell my daughter. I knew I just had to get well for her.
“When you hear the word cancer you think it’s the be-all and end-all, but there is life afterwards if you catch it early enough and within two weeks of diagnosis I was having the operation. Now I’m chairman of the Cancer Patients Forum at Glan Clwyd Hospital and that’s how I heard about the choir and my eyes just lit up.
“I had always wanted to join a choir, one that was a bit upbeat, and it’s been wonderful, especially with Izzy in charge as she is so bubbly and positive.”
Gill, whose favourite song is Walking On Sunshine, is a champion for the choir, visiting groups across North Wales and speaking about the work of the choir.
She added: “Being part of the choir has been another outlet for me and it provides support if we need it.”
To book the Tenovus Choir call 0808 808 1010 and for more on the choir visit www.tenovuscancer