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Therapy Rocks will raise cash for The Oxygen Works and Dream Believe Achieve Highland as Rock Therapy choir adds debuting youngsters

By Margaret Chrystall

THE Rock Therapy choir in Inverness is counting down to today’s fundraising performance – Therapy Rocks – raising money for two local charities.

The choir will support two Inverness charities that provide therapies for local people – The Oxygen Works and Dream Believe Achieve Highland.

Last year the choir put on The Big A at the Drumossie Hotel supporting the local branch of Alzheimer’s Scotland and the Highland One Stop Shop which supports the Highland community of autistic adults, age 16-plus.

In 2017, the choir – which formed in 2016 – debuted with its first performance, The Big City Sing, at the Ironworks, which was a sell-out with the 60-strong choir raising more than £4000 for Birchwood Highland and the Highland branch of British Heart Foundation Scotland.

The choir began after retired Charleston Academy music principal Fiona Stuart had an idea for a choir which sang rock music as a no-pressure antidote to stress. Fiona and her friend Anna Merrouni, musical director, vocal and piano tutor, launched Rock Therapy, which rehearses at Culloden Academy on Wednesday evenings.

This year, for the first time, youngsters have joined the choir and will be singing with them for tonight’s performance.

We attended the Therapy Rocks event last year and it was a great evening.
Leigh-Anne Little

The Oxygen Works offers a variety of therapies and services which can produce significant results for people looking to improve health conditions, whether with oxygen therapy, physiotherapy or massage reflexology.

Although starting out to help people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), The Oxygen Works now works with people living with a variety of conditions.

Oxygen Works centre manager Leigh-Anne Little said: “We are delighted to be supported by the Rock Therapy choir this year.

“Some of the singers attend our centre for therapy and we are very proud of them – both for getting up on stage and performing in front of hundreds of people but also as they do so to raise money for local charities.

“We attended the event last year and it was a great evening.”

Anna Merrouni (at piano) and Fiona Stuart (standing) rehearse with the youngsters.Picture: Gary Anthony
Anna Merrouni (at piano) and Fiona Stuart (standing) rehearse with the youngsters.Picture: Gary Anthony

Meanwhile, Dream Believe Achieve Highland gained charitable status earlier this year and aims to provide grants for children with disabilities and additional needs so they can access specialised therapies which cannot be provided/funded by the NHS.

The idea was developed by Stephanie and Kris Douglas whose four-year-old son Sam has benefited from community fundraising to help him access therapies that the family could only previously have dreamed about.

“We have no outgoings so every penny we raise goes towards funding the grants,” Stephanie said.

“We are delighted to have been chosen by Rock Therapy to be one of their supported charities.

“There are a large number of local charities doing great work in the local area and we feel proud to be picked.”

Therapy Rocks is at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness today.

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