Burnley singer helping to prevent people from becoming house-bound and developing mental illness with Donate a Brew scheme at The Loom and The Circ
A Burnley singer is drawing on her own experience of becoming housebound and battling mental illness to help lonely people struggling to afford to go out and socialise.
Leeann Innes is running Donate a Brew at her Sing For Your Supper events from 7 - 11pm on the first Sunday of the month at The Loom and second Thursday at The Circ, both in Bank Parade, Burnley. Anyone, whether guests or performers, can request a free hot or soft drink of their choice by saying the code, “I could murder a brew,” to Leeann or a staff member.
The 33-year-old says she became too anxious to leave her house after losing her job last year but performing publicly has helped her to overcome her fears. Her battle with anxiety inspired her to set up Sing For Your Supper earlier this year, where chefs whip up a free meal for anyone who performs at The Loom on the night.
Now she wants to use the Donate a Brew scheme to help other vulnerable people continue to socialise, which she believes is vital for their wellbeing.
Leeann said: “When I got really poorly in 2020 I didn’t leave the house for six months because I didn’t have social interactions. Sing For Your Supper is a way to get out of the house and socialise.
“I’ve gone from being unable to leave the house to singing on stage. I’m getting out more now and I’m in a good place so I want to give back.
“I’ve seen a lot of people posting sad statuses online. The weather has changed, many people start to get SAD [seasonal affective disorder] and I know everybody is struggling with money.
“But if you don’t go out you can become anxious. It can become a cycle and I don’t want people to fall into it.
“They might be able to afford to go out for a meal but can’t afford to buy a drink as well. It’s embarrassing for them. I’ve been there myself.”
Leeann says her events have also helped an 11-year-old girl who is “an absolutely fabulous singer” pluck up the courage to perform on stage, as well as a musician who had taken a seven-year hiatus from it, adding that difference in people’s confidence after attending is “phenomenal.”