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Welsh Ambulance Service Virtual choir reaches for the sky

  A virtual choir by Welsh Ambulance Service colleagues has released a touching version of the Judy Garland classic, Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

A virtual choir set up by Welsh Ambulance Service colleagues has released a touching version of the Judy Garland classic, Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Set up by Medical Priority Despatch Auditor, Maddy Matthews-Williams, the 10-strong group of singers took to video conferencing apps and even mobile phone cameras to record their parts of the song, which has become somewhat of an anthem for the NHS through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The launch also coincides with NHS Virtual Pride which has been set up to replace what would be the national Pride event in London.


Maddy, who is based at the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Llangunnor, said: “We were tasked with doing something to celebrate the NHS Virtual Pride event and my colleague Suzy Hambidge helped me come up with the idea and even suggested the song choice.

“The rainbow has become a symbol of hope for the whole NHS as well as that of the LGBT+ community, so we wanted to do something that celebrates the hard work of everyone in these challenging times.

“We wanted to do it a little differently so it’s a fun ukulele version.”

Ten volunteers from across Wales came forward after an online appeal and Maddy was surprised by the quality of submissions.


“I sent everybody a demo video and a guide on how to complete the task and many of the people were saying ‘Oh, I’m not very good’ or ‘I’m sorry it’s not great’ but they were all excellent,” said Maddy.

Representing the Welsh Ambulance Service’s LGBT+ network is Gareth Thomas, who works for the Trust’s Patient Experience and Community Involvement team, and who said: “Since we can’t physically be at Pride events this year, we wanted to give people the opportunity to celebrate in a different way.

“We will be encouraging social media posts with #NHSVirtualPride and all three of our Clinical Contact Centres will be decorating their offices and doing rainbow cake sales.

“The Trust’s chaplain, Reverend Mike Shephard has also written a lovely piece about faith within the LGBT+ community.”

Maddy, a married mother-of-one who is originally from Barmouth, graduated in Theatre and was glad to be doing some performing again.

“It was great fun and hopefully we will do something together again around Christmas time,” she said.

To watch the video, click here.

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