What the DFC does
The Diamond Fund for Choristers aims to raise £10 million by 2020 to help ensure that the unique living heritage of the UK’s cathedral choirs continues to benefit children, society and future generations.
Thanks to our generous supporters, we help choristers and cathedral choirs in the following ways:
Help fund the training of choristers and performance of their duties
FCM has been supporting cathedral music for 60 years. Its new Diamond Fund, focusing solely on the children in cathedral choirs, launched its first project in summer 2016. It has made a grant to Coventry Cathedral which will fund one training session per week with a professional voice coach for 3 years for the 10 new choristers who join the choir every year. The weekly training sessions also help choristers from different minority ethnic backgrounds to settle in with each other and so assist in breaking down barriers between the different communities represented in the choir. Over a third of the members of Coventry Cathedral boys’ and girls’ choirs are from minority ethnic backgrounds.
Relieve hardship with targeted grants
- Unexpected family difficulties such as redundancy, illness or worse can threaten to interrupt a chorister’s education, with unwelcome consequences for the chorister and the choir as a whole. We aim to provide bursaries to help families cope and ensure the choir and the individual chorister are not disrupted.
- Thanks to the generosity of a philanthropist, we have awarded our first multi-year grant to help a chorister family in need at one of the UK’s foremost cathedral choirs.
Fund specific projects
- The Diamond Fund will develop projects with cathedral choirs nationwide in the coming months and years to include support for outreach, recruitment and training, and to provide other opportunities for choristers to develop and flourish. We are forming direct relationships with cathedrals so we understand exactly what is needed to help fund the work of choristers.
- Our first outreach project, funded by a small trust, will enable Bangor Cathedral to extend to schools in the poorest areas of the city the opportunities available to young children to become choristers.
Run awareness and fund-raising events
- Following the successful April 2016 launch at St Paul’s, the Diamond Fund for Choristers is planning future high-profile concerts to showcase the contribution of children to one of the most vibrant strands of our culture and heritage.
- We plan other activities to maximise support in political, finance and business circles.
- Roxanna Panufnik, one of DFC’s Patrons, initiated a sponsored bike ride among enthusiastic Westminster Abbey parents and raised £8000. This successful event has triggered an idea for a nationwide cycle event linking as many UK cathedrals as we can. Watch this space!
Find out more about the impact our work makes to the lives of choristers and others.