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Robbie Williams' former X Factor prodigies LMA Choir stage virtual performance to say thank you to NHS

LMA Choir, who were mentored by Robbie Williams during 2018's The X Factor, have showcased their vocal talents with a special lockdown performance. The 13 strong group came together for a rousing rendition of the Simon and Garfunkel classic, Bridge Over Troubled Water, as a special message of thanks to NHS staff working in the fight against Coronavirus.  Created at Liverpool based media, music and performing arts institution LMA, the choir wowed judges on:- 'The X Factor,' going on to compete in the live shows as part of global superstar Robbie's groups category.

Following the show, the group went on to perform alongside the singer at his sell out shows in Hyde Park and Wembley, as well as lending their vocal talents to his festive album, The Christmas Present. And, last June, Robbie cemented his commitment to LMA by becoming a co-owner, pledging to play a key role in its upcoming expansion plans.  Now, LMA Choir, who are following Public Health guidelines and staying home during the Coronavirus pandemic, is hoping their version of Bridge Over Troubled Water will help bring comfort and hope to everyone staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Stephanie Wallace Carr, head of LMA Choir and musical theatre creative director at LMA, said:- "As a choir, we're used to seeing each other all the time, whether that's rehearsing or performing on stage, so it's very strange to go so long without singing together. However, we wanted to give a remote performance to show our thanks to the NHS and all of the key workers who are on the frontline of the battle against Coronavirus. We felt this song was perfect at capturing what we're all going through at the moment and showing our appreciation for the incredible workers who are keeping our country going. It's really lovely to be able to virtually come together to perform and, hopefully, put a smile on people's faces; so watch this space for our next instalment!"

The choir's performance follows a special message from Robbie direct to students, urging them to stay home and stay safe.  In a video message, the former Take That singer said:- "Stay safe, stay at home and please make sure you eat too many Easter eggs for me. I have given up chocolate since January the 1st. I am feeling much better for it. So eat all the chocolate you can for me. Stay smiling."

TSB pledges to Citizens Advice England and Wales and Citizens Advice Scotland to help those affected by the COVID-19

TSB is donating ₤250,000 to Citizens Advice England and Wales and Citizens Advice Scotland, to ensure both organisations can do all they can to support people facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. The bank is donating the money to the charities to help meet rising demand from the public.

The charities are facing unprecedented levels of demand; with more visits to their websites and increased calls to their advice lines. This donation enables them to scale up online and telephone advice services, providing support to people in England, Scotland and Wales who have worries about their financial situation.

TSB is also working with Citizens Advice England and Wales to develop a long term partnership as part of its corporate strategy and its commitment to helping people make more of their money, every day.

Debbie Crosbie, CEO at TSB said:- "This is a very difficult time for many people. We are already supporting our customers in financial difficulty with changes like payment holidays on loans and mortgages, as well as checking in on thousands of vulnerable customers. But we want to do more for communities across the country, so I'm delighted we are able to support Citizens Advice's vital work."

Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:- "Demand for our services is at record levels. We know people are worried about how to pay their bills, their employment rights, getting access to benefits, and many other issues. This donation will help us provide vital support to people who are already struggling and to those who will inevitably need our help in the coming weeks and months. We look forward to working with TSB on a potential long term partnership which draws on the expertise of both organisations to help more people find a way forward."

Derek Mitchell, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said:- "During this unprecedented crisis people will need the help and support of the Citizens Advice network in Scotland more than ever. We're grateful for this support from TSB which will help us ensure our services can be available to people who need our help."

Citizens Advice Scotland will receive a payment of ₤25,000 as a result of this donation.

New campaign wants you to be:- "Kind to Your Mind"

A new campaign:- 'Kind to your Mind,' led by Cheshire and Merseyside Health along with the Care Partnership, has been launched that aims to support the mental wellbeing of people living and working across the Region. The campaign also sees the launch of the new ALMA wellbeing online portal that has a suite of mental and physical wellbeing resources that has been exclusively developed for people in Merseyside and Cheshire. To visit ALMA and to find plenty of other resources visit:- KindToYourMind.Org The campaign launched on Monday, 13 April 2020 and will run for 6 weeks.

Sheena Cumiskey, chief executive of Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and lead for mental health in Cheshire and Merseyside said:- "Taking care of your mind as well as your body is crucial. Complementing the launch of this wellbeing campaign are new telephone helplines for urgent mental health support, which will be available in each area of Cheshire and Merseyside. The helplines will operate 24/7 to enable people to receive appropriate and timely support."

Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health for Liverpool said:- "Key workers and members of the public are likely to be feeling stress or anxiety at this difficult time as we make major changes to how we live and work. It is more important than ever that we look after our mental wellbeing and encourage others to do the same. This will help us during the pandemic and aid our recovery."

Cllr Paul Brant, cabinet member for social care and health for Liverpool City Council, said:- "I am very pleased to see the launch of this campaign, it's so important to support people at this difficult time whether they are staying at home, self isolating or carrying out vital roles in helping our most vulnerable people."

A new podcast series covering topics such as building resilience, mental health, nutrition, physical activity and sleep will also be released from Monday, 20 April 2020. Mersey Care NHS Trust has also launched a 24 hour helpline to support mental health assessments away from emergency services.  Members of the public who have urgent mental health needs who would otherwise have presented at accident and emergency can call:- 0151 330 7332. The line is open 24/7.

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