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A workplace choir set up to boost morale and teamwork is to release a charity single to raise money for struggling families.

The UK’s largest tour operator TUI UK & Ireland has turned to The Workplace Choir Company to help its employees release the single, a cover of Louis Armstrong’s 1929 hit When You’re Smiling’ (The Whole World Smiles With You), with all proceeds going to TUI’s long-standing charity partner, the Family Holiday Association.

The money raised will help to provide much-needed seaside breaks for UK families struggling with some of life’s toughest challenges, such as disabilities, mental health issues, bereavement or domestic violence.

Head of engagement at TUI, Lydia Hatley, says: “The choir has been the most amazing success. The time rehearsing, performing and recording the single has really bonded a group of colleagues who may never have encountered one another in their daily jobs; they’ve not only made friends but connections we’re benefitting from as a business too.

“We have a strong heritage of community and charity support and the single seemed a logical thing to do. It really does make you smile and will help families smile through the work of the Family Holiday Association.”

Andy Guthrie, co-founder of The Workplace Choir Company, adds: “It has been a delight to work with such an enthusiastic and dedicated bunch of people. The effort the choir has put into rehearsing and learning the music has paid off in so many ways.

“Their performances have been spell-binding and it’s clear to see that their friends and colleagues have been amazed by what they have achieved in such a short time. But, for me, the best thing about this choir has been watching individuals blossom and grow in confidence both as individuals in the group, but also as singers.”

Last year the company raised more than £500,000 for The Family Holiday Association through a number of projects including the launch of charity single, People Need Love, by singer and TV personality Alesha Dixon, collecting change on flights and cruises, and donating money from the sale of scratch cards. But this is its most ambitious initiative yet.

TUI first approached The Workplace Choir Company in 2014 to set up a choir as part of its employee engagement strategy. The hugely successful rehearsal programme, involving around 40 employees, culminated in a memorable Christmas concert to colleagues, family and friends.

You can watch their progress here

TUI’s UK and Ireland MD, Nick Longman, says: “The reaction we had was probably better than anything we have seen in a Town Hall meeting before, and I am incredibly proud of what the guys have achieved in such a short amount of time.”

Lydia adds: “It fulfilled my expectations 10 fold. Feeling the sense of pride of people watching their colleagues perform was really what I hoped for and the feeling that has proliferated throughout the business as they have been rehearsing has just been incredible - way more than I could have ever hoped for.”

The choir was such an enormous success, with employees all keen to continue singing, that TUI asked The Workplace Choir Company to return for another programme. But this time after 12 weeks of rehearsals, the final performance was at a recording studio.
Mr Guthrie adds: “It is a real privilege to witness staff perform at the end of the 12 weeks and be amazed at what they’ve been able to do. The culture at TUI is clear - staff are encouraged to be their best and grow as individuals. It’s wonderful that the choir is able to be part of this ethos.”

The single is available to download from Google Play here
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