A CREMATORIUM has launched a new project to help reduce isolation and encourage togetherness in the community through music. 

Birches Crematorium near Northwich is forming a community choir to allow people to make new friends and support each other with song.

Meeting at the crematorium every month, the Birches Community Choir will be led by professional vocal coach and choir leader Ashley Mellor, from 'The Music in You'.

The creation of the choir comes after a 2022 report by the bereavement commission revealed 18 per cent of people have no informal support after experiencing a loss.

After losing a loved one, many people struggle with getting into a new routine and being able to socialise and meet up with friends, old or new.

Pete Sadler-Eastwood, operations manager at the crematorium, said: "So often when people experience the loss of a loved one it can be difficult to adapt to a new routine and way of living.

"It can be hard to get out of the house and socialise with people, which time and again has been proven to be beneficial to peoples overall health and happiness.

"There are some fantastic support services out there such as bereavement groups and counselling but we’re trying a different approach.

"Our choir is intended to be a friendly, welcoming space for members of our community to join together and most importantly to have fun with new people.

"Knowing that many other members of the choir will have gone through similar experiences - hopefully encouraging those who need it to come along and join in."

No experience of singing or being in a choir is needed and amateurs who have always wanted to try are more than welcome.

The Birches team also hope, by opening up the crematorium as a joyful space with the choir, the building and gardens will become a less intimidating place to visit and an asset to the local community.

Members are encouraged to take part as much as they can and the crematorium is hoping to incorporate a performance at future memorial services.

The first meeting of the choir will be a ‘taster session’ held at the Birches Lane crematorium on Sunday, April 21, from 2pm to 4pm.

Thereafter, the choir will meet on the first Sunday of the month, starting on Sunday, May 5.

Sessions are completely free of charge and refreshments are provided.

For more information about the choir, please contact the crematorium office on 01565 748 211 or visit the website birchescrematorium.co.uk.