Throughout my school career, singing has been an important part of my musical development. Prior to studying at the King’s School, singing was my weakest discipline and I had little confidence in my ability.  However, learning proper singing technique in my lessons and being involved in so much choral music at school has allowed my confidence to grow significantly. My early entry into the school’s flagship choral ensemble ‘The Crypt Choir’, and subsequently into ‘The Chamber Choir’ (the school’s specialist chamber ensemble) has enabled me to discover a love of choral music. Furthermore, my election to sing in the all Girls’ close-harmony group, which I now lead, has been invaluable and highly enjoyable. The singing lessons that I have had for the past 5 years have enabled me to achieve much - partaking and performing in several operatic projects, such as Mozart’s ’The Marriage of Figaro’ and Handel’s ‘Theodora’, whilst currently singing one-to-a-part in our chamber music programme.  I am also proud to have now obtained my Grade 8 singing with distinction. This would all not have been possible if it weren’t for the support of my singing lessons or Cantiacorum Foundation. Singing is a part of my musical identity, and I am grateful to have had so many wonderful opportunities.

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At times, we are all finding the COVID-19 ‘new normal’ difficult to get used to and here at Demelza, the crisis has affected every aspect of our work. We have had to adapt our services with great speed and ingenuity to ensure we can continue to support the children and young people with terminal conditions, and their families, across Kent.

At this time, the need for our services is greater than ever before but our fundraising is significantly restricted. This is why we are so incredibly grateful for the generous and ongoing support of the Cantiacorum Foundation. Not only are they supportive and interested in our work but they are responsive and understanding to our needs (especially during this time of change and uncertainty).

We are currently having to ‘zone’ the hospice to ensure the safety of families by minimising the risk of infection. In June, despite the disruption that lock down brought upon the country, the Cantiacorum Foundation funded some much-needed swipe access equipment to go on some of the doors within the hospice. This has enabled us to maintain privacy as well as help with infection control within our care area, ultimately helping to protect families and nurses from the COVID-19 virus.

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Having help in the form of a bursary allowed us to have a family holiday that we simply couldn't have afforded without financial assistance. It is reasonably easy to find adapted accommodation that we could book for a holiday but the question for us is always then what do we do while we are there. Calvert gave us that answer, suitable accommodation and varied activities. Having visited the year before we knew that it would be suitable and what to expect so it took a lot of the stress and worry away. It is hard work organising and packing everything for a child with complex needs but being able to use equipment such as hoists and having a laundry room and drying room was a big plus for us. It is great for my son to try so many different activities that we don't easily get to do anywhere else. For me Calvert is a safe place, where my son can be himself, where no one judges or stares, where everyone encourages each other. This means we can relax and enjoy time with my son, we can celebrate what he can do, we don't spend the week apologising to people that we need to get the wheelchair through or need space for a wheelchair at a dinner table or saying sorry for the noise he is making. This is what makes Calvert special and we have created some amazing memories from our holidays with you. 

Sally Collett, Adam’s Mum

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