WHEN Bradford choir Chordiality was forced to cancel its fundraising concert last month, due to Covid-19 restrictions, members were naturally disappointed.

The concert, which was meant to take place at Bradford Cathedral, was organised to support the choir's adopted charity, the Bradford Baby Bank. But even though the curtain failed to rise, the kind-hearted singers have made sure the charity didn't miss out - by donating £500 to its funds.

Heaton-based choir Chordiality, which performs regularly throughout the district, made the donation from its own funds, and it follows an initial £800 given by the choir to the Baby Bank in January.

Baby Bank volunteer Duanta Petrie says the funds are particularly needed right now as demand for the charity's services has increased five-fold during the coronavirus pandemic, with lockdown having an impact on vulnerable young families across the district.

She said: “Prior to the pandemic, we were experiencing five to 10 referrals a week. Now we're receiving between five and 10 a day.

"It is the consumables and safety equipment that are in greatest need, like nappies, milk, cots, mattresses and safety gates. We are indebted to Chordiality for its continued support.”

Chordiality had booked the Cathedral for its fundraising concert a year in advance and was due to perform alongside the Bradford Concert Band with a special programme featuring The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace by composer Karl Jenkins. Rehearsals were underway when the show became a casualty of the pandemic. “We were bitterly disappointed that the concert couldn't go ahead,” said Chordiality’s Music Director Peter Sherlock. “It is one of our premier concerts of the year and, performing alongside the Bradford Concert Band, we were expecting a sell-out audience. Despite this disappointment, we felt that we should still try and support the work of our adopted charity and so we still offered a donation.”

Run by a team of volunteers, Bradford Baby Bank supports new parents with essential baby items by recycling donated items, and purchasing other items. Since launching three years ago it has become a lifeline for many young families, and works with local support services on a referral-led basis.

The Baby Bank was launched by mum-of-three Vickie Jubb who started passing school uniforms on to other parents; storing donations of clothes in her garage. Donated goods are distributed to children’s centres and schools and the team is seeking new premises for referring agencies to collect donations. Volunteers are also needed to deliver items.

“For vulnerable parents, poverty can materialise very quickly, sometimes in less than four to six weeks,” says Vickie. “The impact of poverty and the stress and anxiety, particularly for mums, can be horrendous. It can be as simple as a family not having the money to buy everyday items or food."

* facebook.com/BradfordBabyBank/

* Picture taken in January