Rishi Sunak joined members of a famous women’s choir and praised its work supporting wives and families at Catterick Garrison.

The Military WAGS Choir was formed in 2010 to help WAGS (Wives, Affiliates, Girlfriends, Servicewomen) support each other at the time of the war in Afghanistan. It was the blueprint for military wives choirs around the world.

The Richmond MP and Prime Minister joined the choir at its rehearsal base in the Garrison Memorial Church of St Michael and St Oswald and heard them run through some of their extensive repertoire.

He said: “The fantastic WAGS choir concept was conceived here on the garrison. The choir has been providing a friendship focus for women linked to our Armed Forces community for 13 years and having a lot of fun while doing so.Listening to the choir, it was clear to hear and see the enjoyment they gained from singing together – a collective expression of support for one another.”

The choir, which was the inspiration for the 2019 film Military Wives starring Kristin Scott Thomas, is rebuilding after the Covid-19 pandemic severely curtailed its activities. Choir chair Dr Jane Scott said: “Rishi’s visit was a tremendous boost for our members and his support for what we do is very welcome.

“Because we are based in an ever-changing Service community, we are always looking for new members. They do not need to have any form of musical or singing background to join us.”

The choir is a charity and supports other military charities through its concerts and is currently supporting Veterans at Ease which helps ex-military and serving military personnel and their families deal with post-traumatic stress.

Forthcoming concerts include the Kirk Theatre, Pickering, this Saturday, March 18, at 7.30pm and in Darlington on Saturday, May 13, in the Central Hall at 7pm.

The choir meets for rehearsals every Thursday evening in term time at the Garrison Memorial Church. More details about the choir can be found at www.militarywagschoir.co.uk, or contact Dr Scott at jane_scott@hotmail.com.