Kensal Green’s Bolder Voices launch I Love That Freedom Pass
PUBLISHED: 17:45 19 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:29 20 November 2015
Kensal Green’s oldest political singing choir have launched their latest feel good video on online website YouTube.
I Love that Freedom Pass is the latest offering from Bolder Voices, based in Mortimer Road, whose ages range from 65 to 95.
Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Sadiq Khan, Labour MP and mayor of London candidate and representatives from Age UK Camden attended the launch at Somerset House in the Strand this week.
The feel-good musical takes the viewer around London on buses, tubes, trains and boats as it celebrates the ‘magic ticket’ of a freedom pass, the ‘lifeline’ for the elderly and disabled.
Freedom passes are issued to residents over the age of 60, paid for by local boroughs, allowing them free transport costs around the capital, including practice rehearsals for the choir.
Anderson Alexis, 90, said: “It’s on my road and I started going there because that’s where people assembled.”
Florence Duverney, 70, from Willesden, has been singing in the choir for four years. “I love it and I love singing. It wasn’t meant to be political but it turned out to be.”
Eileen O’Brien, 76, from Neasden, added: “I saw a flyer in Age UK. I didn’t fancy it but went along and didn’t like it the first time. But I went back and back again and have been going back for four years. It’s very stimulating and a relaxed choir.”
Clair Chapwell, who has her freedom pass, launched Bolder Voices by joining AgeUK Camden’s Henderson Court and Elders Voice in Brent, to make a YouTube “The Bankers Are to Blame”.
Since then the group have made Aint Gonna (close our centres down), Hey Mr Boris, a rap about pedestrian crossings, Touch me, a weepy about the importance of human touch and the honky tonk I Love That Freedom pass is their fifth offering.
The 63-year-old said: “That generation has been told hide your light under a bushel, don’t put yourselves out there, so even though they have lovely voices, it’s hard for them to put themselves out there.”
She added: “The freedom pass is extraordinary, London is an extraordinary city to have a freedom pass. A lot of cities don’t have it. It does such good things for older and disabled people.”
Ms Siddiq said: “Older people and disabled people use the freedom pass to volunteer. It’s underestimated how much older people do to help us politicians and others in the wider society.”
Mr Khan said: “The freedom pass allows you not to be prisoners at home. If I have the huge honour to be mayor, the freedom pass will stay.”