Soul Singers CIC

Amidst the puddle of babies, toddlers and toys on the floor, a group of ‘new’ mums are finding their collective voice. They’ve turned up for the weekly Soul Singers session in Plymstock Library and will spend the next hour singing for joy. One of several Soul Singers sessions for new mums taking place across the city, it has quickly become loved and valued by its participants:

“It’s lush,” says Sarah Foulis, who has been coming to the Plymstock group since her son Reuben was six months old. “It makes you really happy and no matter what sort of day you’re having, it makes you feel that you’re in control.”

For many ‘new mums’ having a baby can be overwhelming and many admit to feeling lonely, insecure and of a lack of confidence. But what the women have found in Plymstock Library each Wednesday morning is a place where they can find their feet, share their insecurities, and raise their voice. Emma Drummond, comes as often as she can, bringing Charlotte, her three-year old, and three-month baby Erin;

“I didn’t have anyone when we turned up and that was massive because having a baby can be really isolating. And, for me, this group has been absolutely vital because you meet other mums just like you and you can say that you’re finding things really difficult and then you find that they are as well.”

Soul Singers was set up by MJ, a former primary school teacher, four years ago to bring singing into the community and, in doing so, improve people’s health and wellbeing. Funded by Awards for All the sessions are free-of-charge for everyone. There’s a mix of songs: pop songs, old ‘classics’ and little-known gems found on the internet that are based around a theme, such as friendship and ?? Muddling their way through; making mistakes; laughing as they stumble and then finding the joy together is both empowering, says MJ, and transformational:

“I know the impact it can have on people’s lives,” she says. “I know that there are times when someone struggles to get here but they’re glad they did. I see the change in them, and I see them walk out of here like a different person.”

For many of the participants it’s the mix of music and MJ herself that makes Soul Singers so compelling:

“MJ is amazing,” says Sarah. “She’s like a hidden therapist.”

And watching MJ barefoot and bouncing in her bright dungarees encouraging the mums to find their voices while the babies and toddlers play on the floor, you realise that whether it’s singing, gardening or knitting that brings people together, it is the empathy, the companionship and the laughter that brings them back.

Souls Singers is organising a wellbeing event on March 11th in Moments café as part of International Women’s Day celebrations. For more information on this and all the Soul Singers sessions visit

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