Dunelm cafe steps in to save North West Stroke Community Choir by offering new Stockport home

Singing has helped many survivors with their recovery from illness - but their future was at risk when their rent doubled.

It’s a lifeline for many people who are battling back from strokes or who care for someone affected by a stroke.

But the future of the North West Stroke Community Choir looked doubtful when they discovered the rent on their rehearsal rooms was being doubled.

The choir is made up who have either had a stroke themselves, had friends or family members affected by strokesor people who have worked with stroke victims.

However, thanks to a kind gesture by homeware retailer Dunelm, the choir have not sung their last notes after all.

Dunelm stepped in to offer its Pausa cafe in Stockport as a rehearsal space free of charge, meaning members can continue in fine voice.

The North West Stroke Community Choir at Dunelm in Stockport

Joyce Booth, who founded the choir in 2014, got in touch with Dunelm after seeing a post on Dunelm Stockport Community Support.

She said: “I wanted to set up a group for people whose lives have been affected by strokes, so they had something to enjoy and look forward to outside of rehabilitation appointments. Singing uses both sides of the brain and so I knew this would be good for people.

“When we were told that the cost to hire our rehearsal space was going to double, I was really worried about the future of the choir as we just couldn’t afford it. I was over the moon when Dunelm offered out their Pausa Café space to us free of charge. If it wasn’t for Dunelm, we wouldn’t still be running.”

Simon Goldie, who manages the store in St Mary’s Way, added: “It’s our absolute pleasure to offer out the Pausa Café as a rehearsal space for the local community to use – especially as the café obviously closes in the evenings. Hearing the wonderful North West Stroke Community Choir singing throughout our store on Monday evenings is amazing and it really lifts the mood of our customers and store colleagues.”

Dunelm’s Pausa Cafés are available for local community groups to use free of charge after 6pm. Groups interested in learning more should contact their local store directly or get in touch via their local store’s Community Support Facebook group.