Local choirs and bands from Birmingham raised nearly £500 by singing for shoppers and passers-by in Birmingham City Centre as part of Midlands-based national charity, Heart Research UK’s annual “Sing for your Heart” campaign. Hosted by Heart Research UK in the Midlands, the Brindleyplace event was led by the Sutton Coldfield Community Choir along with performances from the City of Birmingham Brass Band and Vivat! Choir.

There was also Christmas stalls, a tombola and free gifts at the event to get people into the festive spirit and to support local research projects. Jan Evans, a member of the Sutton Coldfield Community Choir, said: "Heart disease affects so many of our lives and without events like Sing for your Heart, the charity wouldn't be able to fund important research."

The concert is one of many events taking place in the Midlands throughout December as choirs, singers and performers flex their vocal chords in support of the charities annual campaign.

All money raised at Sing for your Heart events will be spent locally to support research projects in the West Midlands. Over £500,000 has been spent in the region over the last 10 years to help people live healthier, happier lives.

John Lloyd, Midlands Regional Manager at Heart Research UK, said: “Everyone has a voice inside them. The good news is, “Sing for your Heart” in December, can help bring out the potential in people.

“What you can accomplish, the love and the knowing that you are “Helping Hearts Near You”. Many people think they don`t have a voice, but that should not stop them from trying. Please support HRUK in the Midlands during the festive season.”

Singing is also shown to be good for your heart. Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, has studied developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years.

He says: "The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological. Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting.“