Charity runners hope to sing their way to £60,000 windfall

Sing in the City, from left, Annette Hanley, kirsty Baird, Vicky Lee, Lisa Ward and Irene Donaldson, warm up in Holyrood Park ahead of the Great Edinburgh Winter Run. Picture: Jeff Holmes
Sing in the City, from left, Annette Hanley, kirsty Baird, Vicky Lee, Lisa Ward and Irene Donaldson, warm up in Holyrood Park ahead of the Great Edinburgh Winter Run. Picture: Jeff Holmes
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The hills were alive with the sound of music as ten runners from Sing in the City choir laced up their trainers and took to Holyrood Park to warm up ahead of the Great Edinburgh Winter Run.

Along with creating music and running, the 500-member choir from across Edinburgh and Fife also raises money for local charities.

Sing in the City is the brainchild of vocal coach Kirsty Baird who set up the group to allow others to sing, socialise and perform together. And so far, they have raised more than £55,000 for charities around the city.

Members of the professional face of the choir – named the Awe Blacks – have now signed up for the Great Edinburgh Winter Run on January 7 to add more cash to the “Dreampot”. The community project “pot” goes towards helping charities across the region and this year the group hopes to raise £60,000 by the new year.

Past charities to benefit from the Dreampot include Edinburgh Foodbank, Simpsons Neonatal and Waverley Care.

Among the group is Lisa Ward, from Corstorphine, who joined Sing in the City three years ago to provide her with a hobby outside of work.

Lisa said: “Having joined Sing in the City looking for some midweek work stress relief I never imagined I’d get so much more from that. I honestly can’t imagine my life now without it. I’ve had so many doors opened to me through the group and the friendships made with people I would have never had the chance to meet.

“It’s through Sing in the City that I started running. I have NEVER been a runner, in fact I couldn’t even run the length of myself. Then a group from the choir started a weekend running group and I went along as something else to do, a bit like how I started Sing in the City in the first place.

“It soon grew arms and legs and we became a training team entering different events. I now proudly own a number of medals and although I’ll never be the fastest, I’m proud that I started and finished and I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful group of folks to run along with. Thanks to Sing in the City, I’m now a singer and a runner.”

The choir will also provide entertainment for the runners tackling the Great Edinburgh Winter Run by singing some of their favourite winter songs before the starting gun fires.

Kirsty Baird, pictured right, who started Sing in the City in 2010, said: “We always hear from our members about how Sing in the City has changed their lives, their confidence grows and they gain a huge circle of friends.

“Our fundraising usually begins by one of our members suggesting an idea during our tea break, which is how the group for the Great Edinburgh Winter Run was formed.

“Joining Sing in the City means that your friendships grow and this continues outside of choir practice. Members take part in events like this one as a group and try and make a difference in the community.

“The chosen Dreampot charity is always close to our hearts which helps with motivation.”

To enter the Great Edinburgh Winter Run, visit Greatrun.org/Winter.