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Gospel choir to sing in aid of charity for the blind

OH HAPPY DAYS: Maxine Brooks (centre) and her award-winning choir

AN AWARD-winning gospel choir in Birmingham has adopted a city charity specialising in caring for the needs of visually impaired people in honour of the mother of the choir’s founder.

Birmingham Community Gospel Choir, which was set up in 2005 by its ongoing director Maxine Brooks, has chosen Focus Birmingham as one of its charities to support this year at their annual ‘Gospel Goes Charity Concert’.

The move is in tribute to Maxine’s mother, Norma Reynolds, who is registered blind after initially losing her right eye as a result of glaucoma from Type 2 diabetes.

The concert will be in aid of Focus Birmingham, which provides local support for sight impaired and disabled people, and two other nominated charities at Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday 5 November.

Focus Birmingham’s new chairman, Graham Prior, has been invited to talk about the work of the charity from the stage ahead of the concert.

Maxine, who works as a nurse at a GP practice in Nechells, said: “We wanted to support Focus for personal reasons, because the charity is very close to my heart.

“My mother is registered blind but Focus has been great in terms of helping her and building up her self-esteem. She seems to manage quite well and is still independent. Focus has been really supportive in giving her a quality of life despite her sight loss, so I wanted to give them something back for all the good work they do.”

The Birmingham Community Gospel Choir currently has 26 singers and musicians of all ages and backgrounds from across the city. Their crowning moment came last year when they won the title of BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year.

Maxine, who is also a pastor at the House of the Lord UK church in Nechells, has been singing and writing songs since the age of nine. She was a member of The Nurses, a singing group whose first single raised money for the Nurse Aid Charity.
Tickets for the charity gospel concert on November 5 cost from £18 to £20.50. They are available by visiting https://www.focusbirmingham.org.uk/fundraising-events/51/gospel-goes-cha... or by contacting the Town Hall Box Office direct on 0121 780 3333.
The other nominated charities are Mission Morogoro, to support an orphanage in Tanzania, and Oscar Birmingham in aid of people with sickle cell.

Further information about BCGC can be found by visiting www.birminghamcommunitygospelchoir.co.uk

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