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Youth Music Awards 2023 Winners: Amies Freedom Choir

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Get to know the trailblazing winners across the 12 categories at the Youth Music Awards 2023 in association with Hal Leonard Europe.

amies freedom choir hold their award
Adwoa Dickson (L) and Francesca Ojefua (R)/ Credit: Connie Burke

Amies Freedom Choir

Pan Intercultural Arts, London

Amies Freedom Choir won the Social Action Award sponsored by Hal Leonard Europe.

The Amies Freedom Choirs support female survivors of human trafficking to find joy, belonging and community through the collective act of making music.

Many members referred to the choir start their journey with Pan Intercultural Arts at a point in life where they are struggling with confidence, self-worth, anxiety and depression and have many challenges in life which they cannot control. The challenges include housing, benefits, legal asylum processes, family and health. Most participants have English as an additional language often only at a very basic level, or not at all.

Members who have never sang before go on to performing in public, training in Opera singing and joining other choirs.

two women laugh on stage in front of a lecturn
Credit: Nic Serpell-Rand

How does it feel to have won?:

"Where do I start, this award is just such a great recognition of the women we work with, their survival, their resilience, and their strength to get through the adversity they’ve had to face…it really is testament to them."

Music is a universal language. Some of these women who’ve joined the choir never even sang before, so how is it watching their progression, seeing their love for music and seeing their confidence blossom?

"I think everybody always comes in and says I can’t sing and just watching them over the weeks (because normally we run the project for a year) and just watching them develop and find their voice and be like oh I actually can sing! It’s just the confidence…the morale…it’s just something they look forward to, listening to the music back, recording it. We feel like we’ve achieved so much from the beginning to the end. When they come in, we don’t do anything special, we just keep training them, we just keep working through games, through fun, through exercises, and before you know it they’re there."



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