One of the first things single mum-of-four Emma Campbell did to celebrate finishing her gruelling treatment for breast cancer was to join Wimbledon Rock Choir.
Two years on and Emma, 41, who lives in Wandsworth, is joining about 100 members of the choir for a concert at St Luke’s Church, Balham, next month, to help raise much-needed funds for the charity that helped get her back on her feet.
Home-Start Wandsworth first stepped in to help Emma in 2010 as she tried to cope with the breakdown of the relationship with her partner, new baby triplets – Theo, Louis and Ella and six-year-old Jake – and come to terms with her cancer diagnosis.
Part of the UK’s leading family support charity, Home-Start Wandsworth recruit and train volunteers to support parents with at least one child under the age of five.
Their volunteers visit families in their own homes – parents supporting other parents in a variety of situations including isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness or disability.
Campbell says: “My volunteer, Amelia, was much more than an extra pair of hands. She offered unconditional support at a time of total crisis.
“Amelia would hold a crying baby while I changed a nappy, hang out yet another load of laundry while I cooked tea for my six-year-old and was always happy to listen when I needed to talk, or cry – or both.”
Over the next couple of years she received support from other volunteers, each of them bringing with them different qualities to suit her ever changing situation.
She says: “Nearly three years on, I’m doing well. My babies are lively toddlers, my health, touch wood, is great and I’m pleased to say that life is on a much more even keel.
“Home-Start helped me through the toughest of times and I feel so grateful I was able to receive their help in a time of need.
“Joining Rock Choir was the first thing I did after my cancer treatment finished and now, singing my heart out every Wednesday night at St Mark’s Church in Wimbledon seems a world away from the misery I felt back in 2010.”
Also lining up for the concert on Friday, March 8, is Home-Start Wandsworth’s scheme manager Sue Winter, who was persuaded to join by her friend.
Campbell says: “We’re both thrilled to be devoting a whole evening of fantastic, uplifting singing with our Rock Choir friends to raising awareness and much needed funds for Home-Start.”
The choir, led by Jim Hawkins, will perform a full night of pop, rock and
Motown songs, including Valerie, True Colours, Dancing in the Street and Something Inside So Strong.
The Wimbledon choir, now in its fourth year, is part of the UK’s biggest contemporary choir, with more than 16,000 members across the country.
It offers adults and teenagers the chance to sing pop, Motown, gospel and chart songs without the need to audition, read music or have any previous singing experience.
To book a free Rock Choir taster session visit rockchoir.com.
If you need the help of the Home-Start team, would like to volunteer or are able to donate to help them continue their work visit homestart wandsworth.org.uk.