Over 1700 women descended on Dorset for the annual three-day Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) Convention 2022, bringing their voices - and a huge haul of donations for Bournemouth charitable housing association BCHA.
In the organisation’s first annual convention for three years, 60 clubs hailing from as far and wide as Scotland and Cornwall attended Bournemouth BIC, with many competing for Best Barbershop Quartet and Best Barbershop Chorus titles.
LABBS Chair Natalie Feddon said: “The convention was the first we have been able to hold for three years because of the Covid-19 pandemic and it was superb.
“For the last few years many of our clubs have been rehearsing online, unable to meet and share the camaraderie and passion for singing they so enjoy, So, this huge coming together under the theme of Jubilation was a wonderful experience for our entire community.”
Natalie continued: “As with all our conventions, we chose a worthy cause for our members to make non-monetary donations to and this year we asked people to bring toiletries and clothing for BCHA which helps people affected by homelessness.”
BCHA is a major provider of housing, support, learning and employability services for people across the South West from Dorset to Devon.
Natalie added: “Our members arrived with bags upon bags of donations which we handed over to BCHA. We were all extremely pleased that our convention could also help people who are really struggling.”
Mrs Feddon also hosted Cllr Nigel Hedges, Chairman of BCP Council, who was full of praise, both for the singing and the participants’ generosity.
He said: “I was very lucky to be invited to attend this fantastic event. The sheer enjoyment of everyone taking part and their amazing voices was a hugely uplifting experience.
“The fact that the members also made such a generous contribution to the work of BCHA is also to be highly commended. We very much look forward to welcoming the LABBS convention back to Bournemouth."
Michelle Lewis, Change, Transformation & Growth Co-ordinator at BCHA said: “We are hugely grateful to all the LABBS members for their wonderful donations of clothing and toiletries, which will be distributed to many people and families through our supported housing locations and refuges.”
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