Nadine Cooper was one of three women up for the ‘Wellness Warrior’ award.
This new accolade, sponsored by Boots, was introduced to celebrate women who dedicate themselves to improving the health and wellbeing of others. Nadine was shortlisted from 1,220 nominees around the UK, for her work setting up the Tuneless Choir movement.
The 2019 Women of the Year Lunch and Awards took place on Monday 14 October at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, where more than 400 women were all recognised as ‘Women of the Year’ for their individual achievements this year. Five of these outstanding women were honoured with Women of the Year Awards for their selfless dedication to their fields of work. The event was hosted by celebrated TV presenter, actress and comedian Mel Giedroyc.
For more than sixty years, Women of the Year has recognised and celebrated the rich diversity of women from across the UK who have inspired us all. The event champions women from all walks of life and each guest is nominated by a member of the Women of the Year Council in recognition of her personal achievement or inspiration and attends the Lunch as a ‘Woman of the Year’.
The first Tuneless Choir launched in West Bridgford in January 2016, and proved an instant hit for those “lacking the ability, practice or confidence to sing in tune”. The choir struck the right note with those who’d been told by parents, teachers and even vicars that they weren’t tuneful enough to sing. Nadine herself was told to “please stop singing you are spoiling it for everyone else” by a school music teacher when she was 12.
Nadine led the expansion of the choir around the country and the 32nd Tuneless Choir fittingly launched in Southampton on the same day as the awards.
Over the last three and a half years Tuneless Choir members have enjoyed the physical, emotional and social benefits that group singing brings. These were previously excluded to them, as they would self-exclude from even the most welcoming “proper” choirs.
Nadine said “Although I didn’t end up winning the award it was a wonderful experience to attend the lunch and meet such an inspirational group of women. The Wellness Warrior award was won by Lizzy Hall who has set up The Hygiene Bank to provide toiletries and personal care products to those in poverty in the UK. It was touching, humbling and inspiring to hear about work in Iraq, Syria and with children living with domestic violence in their homes.
“The lunch was attended by Theresa May and Cressida Dick, and Lorraine Kelly received a special award for 35 years in show-business and decides supporting the Women of the Year organisation. Actress Maureen Lipman who like me hails from Hull has offered to visit our Oldham Tuneless Choir while she’s in Manchester filming Coronation Street.”
“I obviously haven’t done all this alone! Bernie Bracha set up the West Bridgford Choir with me and we also run the Nottingham City Choir together every Wednesday lunchtime. We then have a brilliant group of choir leaders and managers in Sherwood, Beeston and further afield. They put their hearts and souls into making Tuneless a success, creating joyful, supportive communities.”
With group singing proven to assist with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression, Tuneless Choirs promote the discussion of mental health issues. They support Mind and have raised nearly £19,000 for the charity since the start of 2018.
The West Bridgford Tuneless Choir invite you to sing like no one is listening with them at 2.30pm on Saturday 23rd November, in the run up to the Christmas Light Switch On. The four Nottingham choirs are also joining forces to take part in Mark’s Big Sing in aid of Children In Need at the Royal Concert Hall on Sunday 10th November. They will appear alongside Vicky McClure’s Dementia Choir.