Birmingham Community Gospel Choir, which was set up in 2005 by its ongoing director Maxine Brooks, has chosen Focus Birmingham as its charity of the year, in honour of the mother of the choir’s founder.
The move is in tribute to Maxine’s mother, Norma Reynolds, who is registered blind after initially losing her right as a result of Type 2 diabetes.
A special fundraising concert will now take place in aid of Focus Birmingham and two other nominated charities at Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday 5 November.
Focus Birmingham’s new chairman, Graham Prior, has been invited to talk about the work of the charity from the stage ahead of the concert.
Maxine, who works as a nurse at a GP practice in Nechells, said: “We wanted to support Focus for personal reasons, because the charity is very close to my heart.
“My mother is registered blind but Focus have been great in terms of helping her and building up her esteem. They have also provided her with a cane and lots of aids around the house, such as knowing when to switch on the lights or the television.
They provide her with a lot of support and she also goes to Focus meetings which are a lot of help.”
Added Maxine: “She seems to manage quite well and is still independent. Focus have been really supportive in giving her a quality of life despite her sight loss, so I wanted to give them something back for all the good work they do.”
Maxine’s mother, who lives in Erdington, suffered glaucoma in her right eye as a result of her diabetes, and then injured it when she caught in on something while bending down.
“Because of the existing condition of her eye they weren’t able to save it, so she now wears a prosthetic eye. But her eye problems just got worse and worse and she’s now only got limited vision in her left eye which means she’s registered blind.”
Maxine, who said she had also come across patients with a visual impairment in her nursing career, said Focus would now get the opportunity to highlight the work they do at the November 5 concert.
The Birmingham Community Gospel Choir currently has 20 singers and musicians of all ages and backgrounds from across the city. Their crowning moment came last year when they won the title of BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year.
Maxine, who is also a pastor at the House of the Lord UK church in Nechells, has been singing and writing songs since the age of nine. She is also a member of The Nurses, a singing group whose first single raised money for the Nurse Aid Charity.
Tickets for the charity gospel concert on November 5 cost from £18 to £20.50. They are available by clicking here or by contacting the Town Hall Box Office direct on 0121 780 3333.
The other nominated charities are Mission Morogoro, to support an orphanage in Tanzania, and Oscar Birmingham in aid of people with sickle cell.
Further information about BCGC can be found by visiting www.birminghamcommunitygospelchoir.co.uk