Dagenham special school choir performs Lean on Me in lockdown morale boost

trinity school choir

Trinity School choir has recorded a video of Lean on Me by Bill Withers to boost morale. - Credit: Trinity School

A special school's choir has recorded a music video to boost morale during the coronavirus pandemic.

Youngsters from Trinity School in Heathway, Dagenham, were filmed performing Bill Withers's classic 'Lean on Me' from their doorsteps during lockdown.

Headteacher Sue Ball said: "We are so proud of our students, our ex-students and our music team who put this video together over the difficult weeks since Christmas. 

"Music supports everyone's mental health, so it was really important to involve our young people in such a wonderful project which we hope reaches peoples' hearts at a time when we all need to be able to lean on someone."

Head of music, Gwyn Reeves, and music teacher, Helen Churchill, started filming last month, braving the elements outside performers' homes. 

"We had missed them so much. To see them all together is just lovely. They loved it," Gwyn said.

In total, 18 youngsters ranging from 11-years-old up to 21 took part. The project took weeks to pull off with Helen up at 5am editing the video three mornings in a row.

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"It was worth it," Gwyn said. "We're very pleased."

Mary-Ann Ely, whose son Harry took part, said: "It is so lovely to see something like this. It shows what our children can achieve with the right support.

"Harry loves being part of the school choir and it has increased his confidence. Seeing them taking part was amazing, such talent too. Hats off to everyone."

Hettie Sizibo's son Lusanda also took part. She said: "The patience, sacrifice and dedication of the Trinity music team have just been astonishing.

"I cried tears of joy when I saw the video. My son Lucinda has become a confident performer and singer. Amazing just amazing."

As with schools across the country, Trinity, which has 299 pupils, is closed to students, though the most vulnerable still go in. Many pupils are receiving lessons online with work also sent home.

Yasmin Mohamed, whose son Zayn participated, added: "In these hard times the happy song made Zayn’s lockdown and he enjoyed being part of something bigger."

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