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Big Give: Clive Rowe reveals the 'profound effect' singing has on mental and physical wellbeing

The former Tracy Beaker star received an MBE in 2017

A photo of Clive Rowe wearing a black suit
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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After collecting an MBE for his services to drama back in 2017, it certainly isn't lost on Clive Rowe the impact the arts can have on your life.

Now the Sister Act: The Musical star has opened up about how he is giving back by using his talents in the arts to work with The Smiling Sessions, as they join the list of charities taking part in Big Give. The platform brings together donors and charities, doubling donations made.

A photo of Clive Rowe looking in the mirror wearing colourful makeup© Carl Court
Clive is an Olivier Award-winning actor

Clive explained: "I was approached by one of The Smiling Sessions creators, Alison Jones and asked to become a patron of the charity, which I was more than happy to do. 

"I really connected with her ideology that singing not only entertains but on physical and emotional levels heals as well."

A photo of Clive performing for the charity at the 2015 Walthamstow Garden Party © Jo Dale
A photo of Clive performing for the charity at the 2015 Walthamstow Garden Party

The Smiling Sessions, created by performing arts charity Shapeshifter Productions, is a participatory singing project for older people. The initiative is all about combating loneliness amongst those who are vulnerable by bringing people together to take part in an uplifting group activity that they hope: "Puts a song in their heart and a smile on their faces."

Clive added: "To be able to put a smile on their faces and sing together may sound simple, but it can have a profound effect on their health and wellbeing, quality of life and happiness."

A photo of an elderly lady taking part in The Smiling Sessions © Teresa Elwes
The Smiling Sessions aims to combat lonliness by bringing people together to sing

"To raise £5000 through the Big Give - with £2500 of that matched by them - will make an incredible difference, as the Smiling team will be able to connect with so many more older people who are experiencing chronic loneliness."

During the conversation, the Olivier Award-winner also opened up about receiving his MBE from Prince Willliam, back in 2017.

"I spent no more than 30 seconds in William's presence," he started. "But in that time he seemed very genial and courteous. I will never be able to truly convey the feeling of hearing that I’d been given an MBE. 

"Knowing that someone out there felt so impassioned by my work that they put me forward for the award means more than the award itself. Drama has filled my life with joy and happiness and has put clothes on my back, food in my stomach, covered my bills and allowed me to live a life that I would never have dreamed of. I will never be able to repay drama and the people that have helped and guided me through my career."

Clive joins a list of celebrity patrons including Julia Donaldson, Katie Derham and Julian Lloyd Webber who are working with charities being supported by Big Give.

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