Posted: 07 December 2011

Good singing voices: You can organise a carolling event this year or next

Each year around 600 people across the country organise carolling events in their neighbourhoods. They raise their voices and around £100,000 in vital funds for our work with children and young people.

We hope that you might consider taking part in an event this year, and ideally make it a recurring part of the Christmas season.

High Wycombe Support Group

One of our longstanding carolling groups is the High Wycombe Support Group. Consisting of seven members from four churches, the group has been around for at least 28 years.

The group has organised an incredible variety of events over the years, and their chair recently explained how they organise carolling events.

(Don’t worry – even though High Wycombe group begins organising their events in January, you can organise a simple collection in a matter of weeks. We have all the resources you’ll need, so join us this year or in 2012).

A tried-and-tested formula

Hazel Noakes, Chair of High Wycombe Support Group, said:

'We have a tried-and-tested formula, starting our planning for each year’s event early. We approach primary schools in January, asking if the children are willing to sing on behalf of The Children’s Society. We try to give them lots of notice.

'We also apply for the necessary permits from the council, and gain permission from the shopping centre where we sing.

'Each school is asked to sing for just an hour, and as the children sing, we wear our special The Children’s Society sashes and hold donation buckets.

'This is what Christmas is all about'

'Each school sings on a separate day, and we always chose days where there are lots of shoppers around, such as market days. It works out that we have three separate carol singing events, each with a different school.

'The atmosphere is always really great – sometimes the children are accompanied by a teacher on a keyboard, and the whole Support Group joins in for some of the really well-known carols!

'The children come from many different religious backgrounds, but all love taking part, regardless of their religious beliefs, which we think makes our event really unique. It really brings the Christmas spirit to the shopping centre! Many people make comments like, "This is what Christmas is all about."

'We generally raise £400-500 across the three events, which we’re always really thrilled about.'

This year High Wycombe Support Group’s Carol Singing events take place at the Eden Shopping Centre in High Wycombe on Friday 9 December, as well as on Tuesday 13 and Friday 16 December).

You can arrange a carolling event

It’s easy to organise a carolling event. You can gather friends, family, colleagues or neighbours together and pick a prime spot in your local community.

All the resources that you will need – carol books, collection boxes – are available for free.

Location, location, location

Location is one of the most important factors of your carolling.

If you want to hold your event on private property, be sure to ask the owner or manager for permission – if you need a letter from us, request a letter by emailing our Supporter Care team. If you plan to sing on a street, check with your local authority – they will likely say ‘Yes’ and provide a permit, as long as no one else is there on the same day.

Or you could do old fashioned house-to-house carolling, for which you just need to let your local authority know you will be collecting for The Children’s Society.

This Christmas and next year's

Whether your event involves a few people singing door-to-door or dozens at your church choir, by carolling and raising festive cheer in your area, you help vulnerable young people have the opportunity for more positive outcomes in their lives.

While it’s not too late to organise an event this Christmas season, you could also get a head start on organising your carolling event for next year. To learn more, visit our website, or contact our Supporter Care team via email or on 0300 303 7000.

By Loretta Jones and Maggie Allen, Regional Fundraising 

By Loretta Jones - Fundraising and events team

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