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A heart warming VE day performance by Shine and Sign Youngsters

Mon 11 May 2020

A Makaton choir has marked VE Day by putting together a heartwarming video of the Vera Lynn classic We’ll Meet Again.

The Shine & Sign choir, which was set up by the charity Liberty for vulnerable young people with SEND to communicate their love of music, has been rehearsing via the video conferencing site Zoom.

The choir has proved to be invaluable for some of its members who have difficulties speaking and communicating. Makaton is a special language programme which uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate.

Their confidence and their communication has grown to a level where, before lockdown, they were performing in schools, youth groups and teaching others.

Liberty's co-director Maggi Huckfield said: “We are so proud of the choir and staff member Abbie who set the group up, it shows how music and effective youth work can offer some of the most vulnerable young people a sense of pride and achievement.”

Since lockdown, the charity has adapted its services and set up online youth club and sporting sessions, yoga as well as many other services for its members, with many operating seven days a week.

Holly Finch, aged 26, from Rugeley, a member of the Shine & Sign choir, revealed how Liberty had transformed her life. She suffers from the rare Williams Syndrome which means she has heart problems, learning difficulties and mobility issues.

“The services that Liberty provide me are a lifeline,” she said. “Before I discovered Liberty I was very isolated and didn’t have many friends.

“The services that Liberty provide me are a lifeline,” she said. “Before I discovered Liberty I was very isolated and didn’t have many friends.

Hollys mum added: “The team running Liberty has really tried hard to keep services running online and they’ve adapted well, each week they've had a theme with lots of fun things for Holly to join in with.

“I can’t even think of our world without Liberty. The team have really done amazing things for Holly. She is a changed person and it’s all thanks to Liberty."